A Prospective Cohort Study of Adolescents’ Memory Performance and Individual Brain Dose of Microwave Radiation from Wireless Communication

cellalert‘a potential adverse effect of RF-EMF brain dose on cognitive functions’

Paper in Environmental Health Perspectives by Milena Foerster, Arno Thielens, Wout Joseph, Marloes Eeftens, and Martin Röösli


The potential impact of microwave radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) emitted by wireless communication devices on neurocognitive functions of adolescents is controversial. In a previous analysis, we found changes in figural memory scores associated with a higher cumulative RF-EMF brain dose in adolescents.


We found decreased figural memory scores in association with an interquartile range (IQR) increase in estimated cumulative RF-EMF brain dose scores: −0.22 (95% CI: −0.47, 0.03; IQR: 953 mJ/kg per day) in the whole sample, −0.39 (95% CI: −0.67, −0.10; IQR: 953 mJ/kg per day) in right-side users (n=532), and −0.26 (95% CI: −0.42, −0.10; IQR: 341 mJ/kg per day) when recorded network operator data were used for RF-EMF dose estimation (n=274). Media usage unrelated to RF-EMF did not show significant associations or consistent patterns, with the exception of consistent (nonsignificant) positive associations between data traffic duration and verbal memory.


Our findings for a cohort of Swiss adolescents require confirmation in other populations but suggest a potential adverse effect of RF-EMF brain dose on cognitive functions that involve brain regions mostly exposed during mobile phone use. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP2427

Go to: https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/ehp2427/

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