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

Authors

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

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Main Subjects


References
 
  1. Australian communications and media authority. Electromagnetic energy and 3G mobile phones. FS 34 .2009.
  2. Santhi K, Kumaran GS, editors. Migration to 4 G: Mobile IP based solutions. Advanced Int'l Conference on Telecommunications and Int'l Conference on Internet and Web Applications and Services (AICT-ICIW'06); 2006: IEEE.
  3. Movahedi MM, Javid-Sharifi B, Golpaygani AT, Mortazavi SA, Mortazavi SM. Short-term exposure to mobile jammer radiofrequency radiation adversely affects the human hearing. 2016; 28(4): 1557-9.
  4.  Wiholm C, Lowden A, Kuster N, Hillert L, Arnetz BB, Akerstedt T, et al. Mobile phone exposure and spatial memory. Bioelectromagnetics. 2009;30 (1): 59–65.
  5. De Tommaso M, Rossi P, Falsaperla R, Francesco VD, Santoro R, Federici A. Mobile phones exposure induces changes of contingent negative variation in humans. Neuroscience letters. 2009 Oct 23;464(2):79-83.
  6.  Hocking B, Westerman R. Neurological effects of radiofrequency radiation. Occupational Medicine. 2003; 53:123–7.
  7. Oftedal G, Wilén J, Sandström M, Mild KH. Symptoms Experienced in Connection with Mobile Phone Use. Occup. Med. 2000; 50 (4) :237-45.
  8. Sandstrom M, Wilen J, Oftedal G, Mild H. Mobile phone use and subjective symptoms. Comparison of symptoms experienced by users of analogue and digital mobile phones. Occup Med. 2001;51(1):25-35.
  9. Rubin GJ, Hahn G, Everitt BS, Cleare AJ, Wessely S. Are some people sensitive to mobile phone signals? Within participants double blind randomised provocation study. Bmj. 2006; 332(7546):886-91. DOI:10.1136/bmj.38765.519850.55.
  10. Augner C, Hacher GW, Oberfeld G, Florian M, Hitzl W, Hutter J, et al. Effects of Exposure to GSM Mobile Phone Base Station Signals on Salivary Cortisol, Alpha-Amylase, and Immunoglobulin A1. Biomedical and Environment sciences. 2010; 23: 199-207.
  11. Mortazavi SM, Rouintan MS, Taeb S, Dehghan N, Ghaffarpanah AA, Sadeghi Z, et al. Human short-term exposure to electromagnetic fields emitted by mobile phones decreases computer-assisted visual reaction time. Acta neurologica belgica. 2012; 112(2):171-5.
  12. Mortazavi SM, Shahram TA, Dehghan N.. Alterations of visual reaction time and short term memory in military radar personnel. Iranian journal of public health. 2013;42(4):428.
  13. Ellyahu I, Luira R, Hareuveny R, Margallot M, Meiran N, Shani G.. Effects of radiofrequency radiation emitted by cellular telephones on the cognitive functions of humans. Bioelectromagnetics. 2006; 27:110–19.
  14. Barth A, Winker R, Ponocny-Seliger E, Mayhofer W, Ponocny I, Sauter C, et al. A meta-analysis for neurobehaviorual effects due to electromagnetic field exposure emitted by GSM mobile phones.Occup Environ Med. 2008;65:342–6.
  15. Preece AW, Davies-Smith A, Wesnes K, Butler S, Lim E, Varey A. Effects of 915 MHz simulated mobile phone signal on cognitive function in man. Int J Radiat Biol. 1999;75:447–56.
  16. Kolodynski AA, Kolodynska VV. Motor and psychological functions of school children living in the area of the Skrunda Radio Location Station in Latvia. Science of the Total Environment. 1996;180(1):87-93.
  17. Hamblin DL, Croft RJ, Wood AW, Stough C, Spong J. The sensitivity of human event-related potentials and reaction time to mobile phone emitted electromagnetic fields. Bioelectromagnetics. 2006 ;27(4):265-73.
  18. Karjaluoto H. An investigation of third generation (3G) mobile technologies and services. Contemporary Management Research. 2006;2(2):91.
  19. Unterlechner, Manuela, Schmid G, Zeitlhofer J.. No effect of an UMTS mobile phone‐like electromagnetic field of 1.97 GHz on human attention and reaction time. Bioelectromagnetics.2008: 29: 145-53.
  20. Movvahedi MM, Tavakkoli-Golpayegani A, Mortazavi SA, Haghani M, Razi Z, Shojaie-fard MB, et al. Does exposure to GSM 900 MHz mobile phone radiation affect short-term memory of elementary school students?. J Pediatr Neurosci. 2014; 9 (2): 121-4
  21. Jarideh S, Taeb S, Pishva SM, Haghani M, Sina S, Mortazavi SA, et al. Does Occupational Exposure of Shahid Dastghieb International Airport Workers to Radiofrequency Radiation Affect Their Short Term Memory and Reaction Time?. Journal of Biomedical Physics & Engineering. 2015; 5(3):143-50.
  22. Strayer DL, Drews FA, editors. Effects of cell phone conversations on younger and older drivers. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting; 2003: SAGE Publications Sage CA: Los Angeles, CA.