Cognitive and physiological responses in humans exposed to a TETRA base station signal in relation to perceived electromagnetic hypersensitivity

Wallace, Denise, Eltiti, Stacy, Ridgewell, Anna, Garner, Kelly, Russo, Riccardo, Sepulveda, Francisco, Walker, Stuart, Quinlan, Terence, Dudley, Sandra, Maung, Sithu, Deeble, Roger and Fox, Elaine (2012) Cognitive and physiological responses in humans exposed to a TETRA base station signal in relation to perceived electromagnetic hypersensitivity. Bioelectromagnetics, 33 1: 23-39. doi:10.1002/bem.20681


Author Wallace, Denise
Eltiti, Stacy
Ridgewell, Anna
Garner, Kelly
Russo, Riccardo
Sepulveda, Francisco
Walker, Stuart
Quinlan, Terence
Dudley, Sandra
Maung, Sithu
Deeble, Roger
Fox, Elaine
Title Cognitive and physiological responses in humans exposed to a TETRA base station signal in relation to perceived electromagnetic hypersensitivity
Journal name Bioelectromagnetics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0197-8462
1521-186X
Publication date 2012-01-01
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/bem.20681
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 33
Issue 1
Start page 23
End page 39
Total pages 17
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ, United States
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Language eng
Subject 1304 Biophysics
2741 Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
1314 Physiology
Formatted abstract
Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) technology ("Airwave") has led to public concern because of its potential interference with electrical activity in the brain. The present study is the first to examine whether acute exposure to a TETRA base station signal has an impact on cognitive functioning and physiological responses. Participants were exposed to a 420MHz TETRA signal at a power flux density of 10mW/m2 as well as sham (no signal) under double-blind conditions. Fifty-one people who reported a perceived sensitivity to electromagnetic fields as well as 132 controls participated in a double-blind provocation study. Forty-eight sensitive and 132 control participants completed all three sessions. Measures of short-term memory, working memory, and attention were administered while physiological responses (blood volume pulse, heart rate, skin conductance) were monitored. After applying exclusion criteria based on task performance for each aforementioned cognitive measure, data were analyzed for 36, 43, and 48 sensitive participants for these respective tasks and, likewise, 107,125, and 129 controls. We observed no differences in cognitive performance between sham and TETRA exposure in either group; physiological response also did not differ between the exposure conditions. These findings are similar to previous double-blind studies with other mobile phone signals (900-2100MHz), which could not establish any clear evidence that mobile phone signals affect health or cognitive function.
Keyword Electrosensitivity
Provocation study
Electromagnetic hypersensitivity
Idiopathic environmental intolerance
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Psychology Publications
 
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