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Theme 3: Project 2 - Electromagnetic fields
The SCAMP cohort study is investigating whether children’s use of mobile phones and/or other wireless technologies that use radio waves (e.g. tablets, laptops) might affect their neurocognitive or behavioural development (e.g. attention and memory).
A biomarker validation study is being conducted in a sub-set (50-100) of SCAMP children. Moreover, personal RF-EMF exposure measurements over a 48-hour study period are taken. In the validation study data include information on phone usage via mobile phone network operators, data from smartphones, personal RF exposimeter data, and school environment RF-EMF measurements. These data will be used to validate and calibrate models estimating brain and whole-body RF-EMF exposure.
PHE has extensive experience of EMF exposure assessment and this expertise is being used to evaluate available personal exposure monitors through functionality testing in terms of isotropic response at the middle frequency of the main environmental bands. PHE also conducts exposure assessments in a limited number of school environments of SCAMP cohort participants. Urinary analysis (in collaboration with Theme 4, project 2) will include, in the first instance, quantification of biomarkers e.g environmental tobacco smoke (cotinine), as important potential confounders/risk factors of neurocognitive development. Longer term, urinary analysis will aim to generate new knowledge on potential biological effects to gain mechanistic insights via urinary metabolomic profiling.
We are also investigating the potential health effects of the TETRA radiocommunication system on health in the UK police force (Airwave study) and use of mobile phones and health in the international COSMOS study.