EMF Health-effects Research

Electromagnetic compatibility of electronic implants--review of the literature.

Kainz W, Neubauer G, Alesch F, Schmid G, Jahn O.

Wien Klin Wochenschr 113(23-24):903-914, 2001

The aim of the article was to provide an overview of published studies regarding the electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) of electronic implants. The available literature was sorted according to combinations of implant types and sources of interference. Several experiments concerning the susceptibility of pacemakers to mobile phones have been performed.

The results of these experiments suggest measures that may be used to prevent the disturbance of pacemakers. For instance, instead of carrying the activated mobile phone in the breast pocket it is recommended that a distance of 30 cm be maintained between the pacemaker and the mobile phone, and that the mobile phone be used on the contralateral side of the pacemaker's location.

Similar measures may be recommended for patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators when using mobile phones. Patients with electronic implants should walk rapidly through anti theft-devices because some of these devices are liable to disturb implants. Patients with cardiac pacemakers should not be subjected to magnetic resonance imaging as far as possible. For a variety of combinations of implants and interference sources, e.g. cardiac pacemakers and base station antennas, no studies were found in the literature. It is strongly recommended that trials be carried out to evaluate the potential risk for patients in these settings.

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