The aim of this study was to investigate the association between exposure to non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation from mobile phone base stations and psychiatric symptoms.
In a cross-sectional study in Salvador, Bahia State, Brazil, 440 individuals were interviewed. Psychiatric complaints and diagnoses were the dependent variables and distance from the individual's residence to the base station was considered the main independent variable. Hierarchical logistic regression analysis was conducted to assess confounding.
An association was observed between psychiatric symptoms and residential proximity to the base station and different forms of mobile phone use (making calls with weak signal coverage, keeping the mobile phone close to the body, having two or more chips, and never turning off the phone while sleeping), and with the use of other electronic devices.
The study concluded that exposure to electromagnetic radiation from mobile phone base stations and other electronic devices was associated with psychiatric symptoms, independently of gender, schooling, and smoking status. The adoption of precautionary measures to reduce such exposure is recommended.