EMF Health-effects Research

Influence of a 902.4 MHz GSM signal on the human visual system: Investigation of the discrimination threshold.

Irlenbusch L, Bartsch B, Cooper J, Herget I, Marx B, Raczek J, Thoss F

Bioelectromagnetics. Jul 24; 2007

[Epub ahead of print]

The proximity of a mobile phone to the human eye raises the question as to whether radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields (EMF) affect the visual system.

A basic characteristic of the human eye is its light sensitivity, making the visual discrimination threshold (VDThr) a suitable parameter for the investigation of potential effects of RF exposure on the eye.

The VDThr was measured for 33 subjects under standardized conditions. Each subject took part in two experiments (RF-exposure and sham-exposure experiment) on different days. In each experiment, the VDThr was measured continuously in time intervals of about 10 s for two periods of 30 min, having a break of 5 min in between.

The sequence of the two experiments was randomized, and the study was single blinded. During the RF exposure, a GSM signal of 902.4 MHz (pulsed with 217 Hz) was applied to the subjects. The power flux density of the electromagnetic field at the subject location (in the absence of the subject) was 1 W/m(2), and numerical dosimetry calculations determined corresponding maximum local averaged specific absorption rate (SAR) values in the retina of SAR(1 g) = 0.007 W/kg and SAR(10 g) = 0.003 W/kg.

No statistically significant differences in the VDThr were found in comparing the data obtained for RF exposure with those for sham exposure.

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