Biological effects of Electromagnetic Radiation from Cellular Phones and PMR apparatus

An interdisciplinary research programme between our group and two Sheffield hospitals is researching into possible biological effects of using cellular and PMR handsets. Funding is from MRC and DoH grants, together with PhD research scholarships.

One study involves FDTD computer design of a TEM cell, which is then used to expose human whole blood to calibrated levels of electromagnetic field at 900MHz. The blood is assayed subsequently for Heat Shock Protein synthesis as a stress response mechanism. The exposure is in fact non-TEM, since the incident plane wave is significantly altered by the presence of the culture medium.

The euphemistically called TEM cell will be modified therefore to produce exposure more characteristic of the near zone fields of mobile handsets, and additional dosimetry metrics other than SAR introduced, to ascertain cellular stress responses to different polarizations and electric and magnetic time phasings. Related work involves exposing tissue to lower 'intermediate' frequency electromagnetic fields, such as those from medium wave broadcast transmitters. Here both the exposure system and assaying procedure is different however.

Other work involves a blood pressure study on selected mobile phone and PMR users, where double blind trials using carrier, GSM and TETRA modulation types will be carried out at relevant frequencies. Functional MRI brain scanning is also being investigated as a possible means of observing subtle blood flow effects due to cellular phone radiation.

TEM cell with blood tissue sample