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 Table of Contents  
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 47-48

The controversial health effects of the mobile phone on cognitive function, sleep, brain tissues, hearing, fertility and reproductive system


Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Date of Web Publication2-Dec-2015

Correspondence Address:
Yousef A Al Turki
Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, King Saud University, P. O. Box 28054, Riyadh 11437
Saudi Arabia
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DOI: 10.4103/1658-631X.170911

PMID: 30787698

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How to cite this article:
Al Turki YA. The controversial health effects of the mobile phone on cognitive function, sleep, brain tissues, hearing, fertility and reproductive system. Saudi J Med Med Sci 2016;4:47-8

How to cite this URL:
Al Turki YA. The controversial health effects of the mobile phone on cognitive function, sleep, brain tissues, hearing, fertility and reproductive system. Saudi J Med Med Sci [serial online] 2016 [cited 2021 May 16];4:47-8. Available from: https://www.sjmms.net/text.asp?2016/4/1/47/170911

Sir,

There is still public concern regarding the possible effects of the use of the mobile phone on health. Different studies have demonstrated some effects of the mobile phone on health, but these studies need to be critically evaluated before any definitive conclusions can be made. Furthermore, it might be useful to mention some of those studies in this review, and apprise health professionals of the debatable issues in this area of medical research. Scientific evidence on the effects of exposure to Radiofrequency fields from mobile phones on human brain activity and cognitive function includes results that both support and contradict the hypothesis of any effect. [1],[2],[3]

Based on the limited studies available, there is no valid evidence at present for an association between impaired well-being and exposure to mobile phone radiation. However, the limited number and quality of research in this controversial health issue cannot allow the definite exclusion of long-term health effects. [4] It is important, therefore, for scientists to do further long-term longitudinal case-control studies to provide a definitive answer to this health issue.

The aim of this letter is to highlight the current evidence on the issues of the possible effect of the mobile phone on health.

One study examined whether a standard mobile exposure at 902 MHz has a significant effect on cognitive function in 18 children between the ages of 10 and 12. There were no effects of statistical significance, which indicates that the evidence is inconclusive. [5]

There is evidence that mobile phone exposure prior to sleep may promote rapid eye movement sleep and modify the sleep electroencephalogram in the first nonrapid eye movement sleep period. [6] This evidence might need more studies to explore further the effects of mobile phone on sleep.

One study conducted in five Northern European countries concluded that the results did not support the view that glioma could be caused by using the mobile phone for <10 years. However, this study indicated an increased risk in relation to reported use of ipsilateral phone for more than 10 years. This may be due to either chance or causal effect or information bias. [7] One study which compared the audiogram between the dominant and nondominant side, indicated that there was no significant difference, but a focus on subjects who used the mobile phone for more than 60 min/day, indicated that the hearing threshold of the dominant ear was worse than the nondominant ear. [8] One study showed a correlation between a decrease in the percentage of sperm cells in vital progressing motility in the semen and the frequency of using mobile phones. [9] In my view, this needs further work in long term cohort studies for a scientific conclusion to be reached.

Further, long-term cohort studies and comprehensive evidence-based literature reviews are needed to evaluate the effects of mobiles phones on different aspects of human health. This will help in implementing appropriate health education programs in communities to minimize possible adverse effects of the use of the mobile phone on human health.

 
  References Top

1.
Huss A, Egger M, Hug K, Huwiler-Müntener K, Röösli M. Source of funding and results of studies of health effects of mobile phone use: Systematic review of experimental studies. Environ Health Perspect 2007;115:1-4.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Neubauer G, Feychting M, Hamnerius Y, Kheifets L, Kuster N, Ruiz I, et al. Feasibility of future epidemiological studies on possible health effects of mobile phone base stations. Bioelectromagnetics 2007;28:224-30.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Stilgoe J. The (co-)production of public uncertainty: UK scientific advice on mobile phone health risks. Public Underst Sci 2007;16:45-61.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Seitz H, Stinner D, Eikmann T, Herr C, Roosli M. Electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) and subjective health complaints associated with electromagnetic fields of mobilephone communication - A literature review published between 2000 and 2004. Sci Total Environ 2005;349:45-55.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Preece A, Goodfellow S, Wright M, Butler S, Dunn E, Johnson Y, et al. Effect of 902 MHz mobile phone transmission on cognitive function in children. Bioelectromagnetics 2005;26:S138-43.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Loughran SP, Wood AW, Barton JM, Croft RJ, Thompson B, Stough C. The effect of electromagnetic fields emitted by mobile phones on human sleep. Neuroreport 2005;16:1973-6.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Lahkola A, Auvinen A, Raitanen J, Schoemaker MJ, Christensen HC, Feychting M, et al. Mobile phone use and risk of glioma in 5 North European countries. Int J Cancer 2007;120:1769-75.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Kerekhanjanarong V, Supiyaphun P, Naratricoon J, Laungpitackchumpon P. The effect of mobile phone to audiologic system. J Med Assoc Thai 2005;88 Suppl 4:S231-4.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Wdowiak A, Wdowiak L, Wiktor H. Evaluation of the effect of using mobile phones on male fertility. Ann Agric Environ Med 2007;14:169-72.  Back to cited text no. 9
    




 

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