Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Mobiles don’t affect heart rate or respiration of people claiming to be sensitive to their signals

StockThe heart and respiration rates of 10 people who believe they are sensitive to mobile phone radiation were not affected when exposed to a smart phone signal for more than half an hour, a South Korean study has found.


Researchers from Yonsei University in Seoul, took 10 participants claiming to suffer from electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) – a controversial illness in which people report symptoms, such as headaches, skin irritations and fatigue after exposure to electrical fields or radio waves – and measured their heart rate and respiration during and after being exposed to mobile phone signals against the head for 32 minutes.


Ten non-EHS sufferers were also tested and the groups and researchers were unaware of when a dummy handset was transmitting radio frequency (RF) 3mm from their head.


“This double-blind experimental setup made it possible to investigate the effects of smart phones on physiological changes,” the study said.


The researchers found there were no physical changes for either group during and after real and sham exposures.


“RF exposure of 30 min did not have any effects on physiological changes in either group,” the researchers said.


“Neither the EHS nor the non-EHS group showed significant differences in heart rate, respiration rate, or LFP/HFP [low-frequency power/high-frequency power] between the real and sham exposures or between each stage.


In an earlier study presented at a Brisbane Conference in June, the Korean researchers also tested whether people claiming to suffer from EHS could tell when they were being exposed to mobile phone signals and when they weren’t.


The researchers asked 15 EHS and 17 non-EHS subjects every five minutes during a 64 minute session whether they thought they were being exposed to RF fields at that time and found no evidence that the EHS group could tell when the mobile phone was transmitting.


“There was no evidence that the EHS group perceived the electromagnetic fields (EMF) better than the non-EHS group,” the researchers said.


The two studies’ results are supported by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) fact sheet that says there is no connection between mobile phones and their base stations to EHS.


“The majority of studies indicate that EHS individuals cannot detect EMF exposure any more accurately than non-EHS individuals. Well controlled and conducted double-blind studies have shown that symptoms were not correlated with EMF exposure,” the WHO said.


Previous research has suggested a phenomenon known as the nocebo effect, where negative expectations lead to undesirable physiological outcomes, is a likely explanation for the symptoms experienced by sufferers.


“There are also some indications that these symptoms may be due to pre-existing psychiatric conditions as well as stress reactions as a result of worrying about EMF health effects, rather than the EMF exposure itself,” the WHO said.

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