Introduction: Increased use of wireless devices and networks such as mobile phones has increased exposure to non-ionizing radiation. Since wireless devices are a distinct part of the ongoing technology, the benefits of applications must outweigh the associated risks so that the developments can take place. In this questionnaire-based study, we aimed to evaluate the effects of non-ionizing radiation from mobile phone base transceiver station (BTS) antennae on the Zabol inhabitants’ health.
Methods: In this study, 349 volunteers (186 men and 163 women) inhabiting in Zabol, Iran, were asked to complete a standardized questionnaire from April 2019 to June 2021. The questionnaire included information about age, sex, education, time of residence, and the emergence of symptoms such as cardiovascular problems, weight loss, depression, sleep disturbance, nervousness, and hearing disturbances. The power density of non-ionizing radiation in the living place of the volunteers was measured by an Electro Smog Meter (TES-92 TES Instruments Taiwan).
Results: Results showed that the frequency of complaints increased by enhancing the power density for most of the studied symptoms, and in some cases (e.g., irritability, P<0.05 and lowering of libido, P<0.05), the increase was significant with at least P<0.05. The minimum and the maximum measured power densities at the place of residence were 98.3 μW/m2 and 3400 μW/m2 , respectively. Moreover, increasing the frequency of complaints by about at least one symptom was significantly associated with a power density of>600 μW/m2 (P<0.05).
Conclusion: It is suggested that inhabitants should not live in locations where the power density is higher than 600 μW/m2 to minimize the risk of radiation-induced symptoms.