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Mobile Phone Research Unit

The Mobile Phone Research Unit examines the possible short-term health effects of mobile phone type signals. 

Researchers working in the Unit want to find out if some people are highly sensitive to these signals. They have previously tested whether those people who report sensitivity to mobile phone emissions experience adverse symptoms when exposed to them under ‘double-blind’ conditions and whether the new TETRA radio system used by police officers in the UK can cause short-term symptoms.  

The Unit is also interested in the more general area of electrosensitivity and has published extensive reviews of the scientific literature concerning this poorly understood condition, including ‘A systematic review of treatments for electromagnetic hypersensitivity’ . 

The work is supported by two research grants awarded by the UK Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research programme. 

Mobile Phone Research Unit Publications

  • Rubin GJ, Nieto-Hernandez R & Wessely S. Idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields (formerly ’electromagnetic hypersensitivity’): An updated systematic review of provocation studies. Bioelectromagnetics 2010; 31:1-11 (paper)
  • Nieto-Hernandez R, Williams J, Cleare AJ, Landau S, Wessely S & Rubin GJ. Can exposure to a terrestrial trunked radio (TETRA)-like signal cause symptoms? A randomised double-blind provocation study. Occupational and Environmental Medicine; e-publication ahead of print DOI:10.1136/oem.2010.055889 (abstract)
  • Nieto-Hernandez R, Rubin GJ, Cleare AJ, Weinman JA & Wessely S. Can evidence change belief? Reported mobile phone sensitivity following individual feedback of an inability to discriminate active from sham signals. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 2008; 65:453-460 (abstract).
  • Rubin GJ, Cleare AJ, Wessely S. Psychological factors associated with self-reported sensitivity to mobile phones. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 2007; 64:1-9. (abstract)
  • Das-Munshi J, Rubin GJ, Wessely S. Multiple chemical sensitivites: Review. Current Opinion in Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery 2007; 15:274-280. (abstract)
  • Rubin GJ, Hahn G, Everitt B, Cleare AJ, Wessely S. Are some people sensitive to mobile phone signals? A within-participants, double-blind, randomised provocation study. British Medical Journal 2006; 332:886-889. (paper)
  • Das Munshi J, Rubin GJ, Wessely S. Multiple chemical sensitivities: A systematic review of provocation studies. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 2006; 118:1257-1264. (abstract)
  • Rubin G, Das Munshi J, Wessely S. A systematic review of treatments for electromagnetic hypersensitivity. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics 2006; 75:12-18. (abstract)
  • Rubin GJ, Das Munshi J, Wessely S. Electromagnetic hypersensitivity: A systematic review of provocation studies. Psychosomatic Medicine 2005; 67:224-232. (abstract)
Project status: Ongoing