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Prospektive Kohortenstudie zum Einfluss der nicht ionisierenden Strahlung auf die gesundheitsbezogene Lebensqualität

English title Radio frequency electromagnetic field exposure and health related quality of life: Prospective cohort study
Applicant Röösli Martin
Number 113595
Funding scheme NRP 57 Non-Ionising Radiation - Health and Environment
Research institution Institut für Sozial- und Präventivmedizin Universität Basel Swiss TPH
Institution of higher education University of Berne - BE
Main discipline Methods of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine
Start/End 01.01.2007 - 30.09.2010
Approved amount 553'255.00
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All Disciplines (4)

Methods of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine
Other disciplines of Environmental Sciences
Mental Disorders, Psychosomatic Diseases
Electrical Engineering

Keywords (5)

Exposure assessment; modelling; quality of life; radio frequency; electromagnetic field

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
Radio frequency electromagnetic field exposure and health related quality of life: Prospective cohort study

There is concern regarding the possible health effects of exposure to common sources of radio frequency electromagnetic fields (RF EMF), for example from broadcasting and mobile phone communication. Epidemiological studies allow investigation of effects occurring after prolonged exposure. Up to now, the conducting of large-scale epidemiological studies has been hampered by the lack of methodologically sound RF EMF exposure assessment. In the meanwhile, newly developed portable exposure meters have become available that allow convenient personal exposure measurements. In addition, recently invented geospatial three-dimensional models allow estimation of ambient RF EMF from different fixed sources, such as mobile phone base stations or broadcast transmitters.

This study will identify the contributions of different RF EMF sources to total exposure in a general Swiss population sample. To this end, the researchers conducting the study will combine ambient modelling with exposimeter measurements to develop and validate an exposure assessment method for Basel and the surrounding semi-urban and rural areas. Subsequently, in a cohort of 2000 individuals, personal exposure will be quantified twice, at an interval of one year. At the same time health-related quality of life will be measured using a symptom questionnaire. This will allow us to address the question of whether health-related quality of life is associated with levels of exposure to RF EMF under real life conditions.

This study will provide important information to the public and scientific community regarding the significance of possible health effects of RF EMF. Moreover, it will enhance our understanding of the suitability of different approaches to reducing exposure, including environmental measures and behavioural changes. The exposure assessment method that will be developed can be adapted for use in future epidemiological studies investigating long term RF EMF exposure.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
138190 HERMES: Health Effects Related to Mobile Phone Use in Adolescents 01.01.2012 Project funding (Div. I-III)
122873 CEFALO: An international case-control study on brain tumours in children and adolescents 01.02.2009 ProDoc