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1 August 2009 Effects of UMTS Cellular Phones on Human Hearing: Results of the European Project “EMFnEAR”
Marta Parazzini, Federica Sibella, Mark E. Lutman, Srikanta Mishra, Annie Moulin, Mariola Sliwinska-Kowalska, Ewelina Woznicka, Piotr Politanski, Marek Zmyslony, Gyorgy Thuroczy, Ferenc Molnár, Györgyi Kubinyi, George Tavartkiladze, Stanislav Bronyakin, Ingrida Uloziene, Virgijlius Uloza, Egle Gradauskiene, Paolo Ravazzani
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Abstract

The European project EMFnEAR was undertaken to assess potential changes in human auditory function after a short-term exposure to radiofrequency (RF) radiation produced by UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunication System) mobile phones. Participants were healthy young adults with no hearing or ear disorders. Auditory function was assessed immediately before and after exposure to radiofrequency radiation, and only the exposed ear was tested. Tests for the assessment of auditory function were hearing threshold level (HTL), distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAE), contralateral suppression of transiently evoked otoacoustic emission (CAS effect on TEOAE), and auditory evoked potentials (AEP). The exposure consisted of speech at a typical conversational level delivered via an earphone to one ear, plus genuine or sham RF-radiation exposure produced by a commercial phone controlled by a personal computer. Results from 134 participants did not show any consistent pattern of effects on the auditory system after a 20-min UMTS exposure at the maximum output of the phone with 69 mW/kg SAR in the cochlea region in a double blind comparison of genuine and sham exposure. An isolated effect on the hearing threshold at high frequencies was identified, but this was statistically nonsignificant after correction for multiple comparisons. It is concluded that UMTS short-term exposure at the maximum output of consumer mobile phones does not cause measurable immediate effects on the human auditory system.

Marta Parazzini, Federica Sibella, Mark E. Lutman, Srikanta Mishra, Annie Moulin, Mariola Sliwinska-Kowalska, Ewelina Woznicka, Piotr Politanski, Marek Zmyslony, Gyorgy Thuroczy, Ferenc Molnár, Györgyi Kubinyi, George Tavartkiladze, Stanislav Bronyakin, Ingrida Uloziene, Virgijlius Uloza, Egle Gradauskiene, and Paolo Ravazzani "Effects of UMTS Cellular Phones on Human Hearing: Results of the European Project “EMFnEAR”," Radiation Research 172(2), 244-251, (1 August 2009). https://doi.org/10.1667/RR1679.1
Received: 25 November 2008; Accepted: 1 March 2009; Published: 1 August 2009
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