Epidemiologic Studies Related to Cellular Telephone Communication

  • John D. Boice
  • Joseph J. Morrissey


In vivo animal studies (and to a lesser extent in vitro studies) are important for the short term hazard assessment of physical and chemical agents. The initial identification of environmental and behavioral risk factors, however, has historically been accomplished through epidemiological studies. Further, epidemiological studies provide the only direct confirmation and assessment of human health risk. Epidemiologic studies can be broadly classified as experimental or observational. Experimental studies involve the intentional, but random, exposure of subjects. Observational studies are non-experimental investigations which can be either analytic (cohort, case-control) or descriptive (ecologic correlation) depending upon whether exposure to individuals is known. To date, few epidemiologic studies have been conducted on the possible health effects associated with radio frequency exposures from cellular telephones1,2, but the number is expected to increase3,4. Definite answers about possible health effects related to the use of radiotelephones from these studies, however, are unlikely to come about in the short term. This is because the validity of any study, no matter how well designed, is made stronger through replication. Further, a disease latency on the order of decades could make immediate detection impossible since the widespread use of mobile telephones is a relatively recent phenomena. Therefore, careful surveillance of populations exposed to radio frequency emissions coupled with comprehensive animal and cellular studies are necessary for an unambiguous determination of possible health effects of cellular telephone exposure.


Cellular Phone Mobile Telephone Acoustic Neuroma Cellular Telephone Phone Subscriber 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • John D. Boice
    • 1
  • Joseph J. Morrissey
    • 2
  1. 1.International Epidemiology InstituteRockvilleUSA
  2. 2.Florida Corporate Electromagnetic Research LaboratoryMotorola, Inc.Ft. LauderdaleUSA

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