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EMF Study
(Database last updated on Sep 28, 2022)

ID Number 2383
Study Type Epidemiology
Model Questionnaires used to evaluate children aged 1-5 years use of mobile phones and high school students' risk perceptions on mobile phones and base stations, their trust to authorities, their opinions regarding incivility while using mobile phones and to assess associated factors.

AUTHORS' ABSTRACT: Hassoy et al. 2013 (IEEE #5610): BACKGROUND: Use of mobile phones has rapidly risen among adolescents despite a lack of scientific certainty on their health risks. Risk perception is an important determinant of behavior, and studies on adolescents' risk perceptions of mobile phones or base stations are very scarce. This study aims to evaluate high school students' risk perceptions on mobile phones and base stations, their trust to authorities, their opinions regarding incivility while using mobile phones and to assess associated factors. METHODS: For this cross-sectional study, 2530 students were chosen with stratified cluster sampling among 20,493 high school students studying in Bornova district of Izmir, Turkey, among whom 2240 (88.5%) participated. Risk perceptions and opinions were questioned with a 5-point Likert scale for 24 statements grouped under four dimensions. The mean responses to the four dimensions were categorized as <3.5 (low) and e3.5 (high) and the determinants were analyzed with logistic regression. RESULTS: Mean risk perception scores for the mobile phone, base station, trust to authority and incivility dimensions were 3.69 ± 0.89, 4.34 ± 0.78, 3.77 ± 0.93, 3.16 ± 0.93 and the prevalence of high risk perception was 65.1%, 86.7%, 66.2%, 39.7%, respectively. In the mobile phone dimension; students attending industrial technical high school had lower risk perceptions while female students, lower mothers' education groups and students not using mobile phones (OR = 2.82, 95% CI = 1.80-4.40) had higher risk perceptions. In the base station dimension girls had higher risk perceptions (OR = 1.68, 95% CI = 1.20-2.37). Girls and students attending industrial technical high school had significantly lower risk perception however 11-12th grade group perceived the risk higher (OR = 1.45 95% CI = 1.15-1.84) in the trust to authority dimension. For the incivility dimension, female students (OR = 1.44, 95% CI = 1.14-1.82), illiterate/only literate mothers (OR = 1.79, 95% CI = 1.04-2.75) and students not using mobile phones (OR = 2.50, 95% CI = 1.62-3.87) perceived higher risk. CONCLUSIONS: Understanding the effects of these determinants might aid in developing more effective educational interventions to specific subgroups on this topic. As debates on the health consequences of electromagnetic fields continue, it would be cautious to approach this issue with a preventive perspective. Efforts should be made to equalize the varying level of knowledge and to ensure that students are informed accurately. AUTHORS' ABSTRACT: Durusoy et al. 2017 (IEEE #6782): Background: Health outcomes of electromagnetic fields (EMF) from mobile phones and their base stations are of concern. Conducting multidisciplinary research, targeting children and exploring dose-response are recommended. Our objectives were to describe the mobile phone usage characteristics of high school students and to explore the association between mobile phone usage characteristics, high school EMF levels and self-reported symptoms. Methods: This cross-sectional studys data were collected by a survey questionnaire and by measuring school EMF levels between November 2009 and April 2011. A sample size of 2530 was calculated from a total of 20,493 students in 26 high schools and 2150 (85.0%) were included in the analysis. The frequencies of 23 symptoms were questioned and analysed according to 16 different aspects of mobile phone use and school EMF levels, exploring also dose-response. School EMF levels were measured with Aaronia Spectran HF-4060 device. Chi square and trend tests were used for univariate and logistic regression was used for multivariate analyses. Results: Among participants, 2021 (94.0%) were using mobile phones and 129 (6.0%) were not. Among users, 49. 4% were speaking <10 min and 52.2% were sending/receiving 75 or more messages per day. Headache, fatigue and sleep disturbances were observed respectively 1.90 (95% CI 1.302.77), 1.78 (1.212.63) and 1.53 (1.052.21) times more among mobile phone users. Dose-response relationships were observed especially for the number of calls per day, total duration of calls per day, total number of text messages per day, position and status of mobile phone at night and making calls while charging as exposures and headache, concentration difficulties, fatigue and sleep disturbances as general symptoms and warming of the ear and flushing as local symptoms. Conclusions: We found an association between mobile phone use and especially headache, concentration difficulties, fatigue, sleep disturbances and warming of the ear showing also dose-response. We have found limited associations between vicinity to base stations and some general symptoms; however, we did not find any association with school EMF levels. Decreasing the numbers of calls and messages, decreasing the duration of calls, using earphones, keeping the phone away from the head and body and similar precautions might decrease the frequencies or prevalence of the symptoms. AUTHORS' ABSTRACT: K1l1ç et al. 2019 IEEE #7042): The present study was conducted to determine young childrens (aged 160 months) exposure to and use of mobile devices. The study included 422 parents of children aged 160 months admitted to pediatric outpatient clinics. A questionnaire was administered to the parents via face-to-face interview. Childrens overall exposure to mobile devices was 75.6% (n = 319). Of the children, 24.4% (n = 103) had never used a mobile device. Among the children that had used a mobile device, 20.6% (n = 66) were aged between 1 and 12 months; 24.5% (n = 78) were aged between 13 and 24 months. The median age at the first time use of a mobile device was 12 months. The youngest child that used a mobile device was 6 months old. Tablets had a significant difference in the age at first use compared with other mobile media types (P < 0.01). Childrens overall mobile device ownership was 30.7% (98/319) in frequency. There was a positive relationship between mobile device ownership and age (p < 0.001). The most commonly owned mobile device was a tablet at a frequency of 68.4% (67/98). The frequency of tablet ownership was inversely associated with household income (P < 0.01). Of the children that used mobile devices, 25.7% (82/319) used multiple mobile devices simultaneously. Among 422 children, 15.9% (n = 67) had a tablet in their room. The frequency of tablet use and ownership was inversely related to the mothers educational level (P < 0.01). The parents reported that 22.3% (n = 71) never received help while navigating the mobile device. The most frequent activity with mobile devices was watching videos (70.8%, n = 226). Of the parents, 59.6% (190/319) let their children use mobile devices while they are doing daily tasks or domestic chores. Of the parents, 91.5% (n = 386) reported not having been informed by a doctor about the effects of mobile devices on their children. Conclusion: This study demonstrates a high prevalence of exposure to mobile devices in young children. The frequency of tablet use and ownership of offspring was inversely related with maternal educational level and household income.

Findings Not Applicable to Bioeffects
Status Completed With Publication
Principal Investigator Ege University Medical School, Izmir, Turkey
Funding Agency Turkish National and Scientific Research Council
Country TURKEY
  • Hassoy , H et al. Environ Health., (2013) 12:10-(10 Pages)
  • Durusoy, R et al. Environmental Health., (2017) 16:51-
  • Kilic, AO et al. European Journal of Pediatrics., (2019) 178:221-227
  • Simsek, H et al. International Journal of Environmental Health Research., (2019) 29:-
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