Allergic reactions enhanced by mobile phone use

A study carried out in Japan at the Department of Allergy, Unitika Central Hospital in Uji, Kyoto, has found that an hour’s exposure to continuous mobile phone use exacerbated a reaction to house dust mite and Japanese cedar pollen in people with eczema and known allergies.

Fifty two men and women were divided into two groups, one of which was subjected to the continuous phone use, whilst the other was not. Skin tests to the two aforementioned substances plus histamine were undertaken before the mobile phone use began, and the wheal responses measured at 15 minutes, two hours and four hours afterwards. The levels of vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and substance P (SP) were measured as well. VIP and SP are both associated with triggering allergic reactions, and levels are elevated in the secretions of people with nasal allergies.

The study found that the microwave radiation stimulated the release of both VIP and SP. The skin tests showed that those who had been exposed to continuous mobile phone use had a significant increase in allergic responses, compared to no significant change in any measurement in the control group.  However it is not clear yet how microwave radiation affects symptoms of allergy, nor whether shorter or longer periods of exposure would produce similar results. But the results may be useful for planning the future treatment of patients with eczema.

Source: International Archives of Allergy and Immunology

First published in May 2011

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