Effects of Short-term Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields Emitted by 3G and 4G Mobile Phones on Reaction Time and Short-term Memory

Document Type: Short Communications


1 Department of Medical Physics and Medical Engineering, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

2 Department of Biomedical Engineering, Standard Research Institute, Karaj, Iran.

3 Department of Medical Physics, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

4 Shiraz University of Medical Sciences


Introduction: There have been many studies conducted on the effects of mobile phones radiations on people’s health due to increasing number of mobile phones users. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of electromagnetic waves generated from 3G and 4G mobile phone radiations on student’s reaction time and short-term memory.
Material and Methods: This was a cross-sectional and descriptive-analytic study. A sample of 85 medical students from Shiraz University of Medical Sciences in the age range of 18-22 years was selected. After 10-min exposure to 3G and 4G mobile waves without any prognoses if mobile phone was on or off, response time and short-term memory tests were taken at once. The groups then left laboratory for about 2 h to take a rest, and they came back to laboratory to carry out the second mode of testing after two h (mobile phones on or off related to previous test). Both tests were performed in the afternoon to make students almost identical in terms of daily fatigue conditions. The data were analyzed in SPSS software (version 19) using t-test technique. The difference was statistically considered significant (P<0.05).
Results: The results revealed that the reaction time and average short-term memory following the exposure to electromagnetic waves emitted from mobile 3G and 4G mobile phones increased and decreased, respectively. However, this difference was only significant in the reaction time. The electromagnetic waves generated by the 3G and 4G mobile phones led to slower response time among students under emission, compared to the control group.
Conclusion: According to our findings, it can be concluded that the frequency of electromagnetic waves increased the response to stimulus time.


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