EMF Health-effects Research

Can mobile phone emissions affect auditory functions of cochlea or brain stem?

Sievert U, Eggert S, Pau HW.

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 132(3):451-455, 2005

Problems addressed Despite their abundant spread, mobile phones are suspected by a major share of the population to cause adverse effects on health and welfare. The ear as the sense organ next to the individual device has rarely been investigated for short-term effects in this regard.

In a previous article, we could not prove any impact on the vestibular part of the inner ear. Our present examinations are concerned with the question whether mobile phone emissions could affect cochlear or auditory brain stem functions.

Methods and measures: In 12 healthy test persons with normal hearing, auditory brain stem reflexes recordings were performed before, during, and after exposure to electromagnetic emissions by standardized mobile phone devices. Two modes of electromagnetic emissions fields were administered: pulsed and continuous. For acoustic stimulation simultaneous to field exposure, special "plug-in" earphones had to be used.

Results: No impact on auditory brain stem reflexes recordings in terms of absolute and interpeak latencies could be found.

Clinical significance: Together with the results of a previous article concerned with the vestibular part of the inner ear, we can state that there are no adverse effects of mobile phone emissions on the ear function, at least on a short-term range. Of course, any long-term effects cannot be excluded by our study

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