EMF Health-effects Research

Does evening exposure to mobile phone radiation affect subsequent melatonin production?

Wood A, Loughran S, Stough C

Int. J. Rad. Biol 82:69-76, 2006

Purpose: To test whether exposure to the emissions from a digital mobile phone handset prior to sleep alters the secretion of melatonin.

Materials and methods: In a double-blind cross-over design, 55 adult volunteers were both actively exposed or sham-exposed (in random order on successive Sunday nights) to mobile phone emissions for 30 min (0.25 W average power). Urine collection occurred immediately prior to retiring to bed and on rising the next morning.

Melatonin output was estimated from principal metabolite concentrations (6-sulphatoxymelatonin (aMT6s) via radioimmunoassay), urine volumes and creatinine concentrations.

Results: Total melatonin metabolite output (concentration urine volume) was unchanged between the two exposure conditions (active 14.11.1 g; sham 14.61.3 g). The pre- and post-bedtime outputs considered separately were also not significantly different, although the pre-bedtime value was less for active versus sham exposure.

When melatonin metabolite output was estimated from the ratio of aMT6s to creatinine concentrations, the pre-bedtime value was significantly less ( p = 0.037) for active compared to sham. Examination of individual responses is suggestive of a small group of `responders'.

Conclusions: Total nighttime melatonin output is unchanged by mobile phone handset emissions, but there could be an effect on melatonin onset time.

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