Study: Anxiety, tension not linked to cell tower emissions

A new three-year study tracks the effects of phone masts on people's anxiety, tension and fatigue.

Stefanie Olsen Staff writer, CNET News
Stefanie Olsen covers technology and science.
Stefanie Olsen

Most studies on cell phone towers try to determine whether emissions can be linked to cancer in humans. (This one says it's not.) But a new three-year study tracks their effects on people's anxiety, tension and fatigue.

The conclusion of the study is that emissions from phone masts do not cause accelerated heart rate or higher blood pressure in people, according to a team of scientists at the University of Essex in England.

The scientists tested 44 people who had said previously that they were sensitive to cell phone technology, and another 114 people who had not reported any health problems. Tests of both groups, who were exposed to a 3G (UMTS) signal, showed that physiological measures such as heart rate and blood pressure were not affected by whether the mast was turned on or off, according to the study, which was reported in Science Daily.

"It is clear that sensitive individuals are suffering real symptoms and often have a poor quality of life," Elaine Fox, lead investigator in the study, said in a statement. "It is now important to determine what other factors could be causing these symptoms, so appropriate research studies and treatment strategies can be developed."

Results from the study, which was funded by the Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research (MTHR) group, were also published Monday in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.