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Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Radiation and Memory Performance: Sources of Uncertainty in Epidemiological Cohort Studies

1
Centre for Population Health Research on Electromagnetic Energy (PRESEE), School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, 553 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, VIC 3004, Australia
2
School of Engineering, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia
3
Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR), AgriBio Centre, 5 Ring Rd, Bundoora, Melbourne, VIC 3083, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 592; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040592
Received: 21 February 2018 / Revised: 21 March 2018 / Accepted: 23 March 2018 / Published: 26 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
Uncertainty in experimental studies of exposure to radiation from mobile phones has in the past only been framed within the context of statistical variability. It is now becoming more apparent to researchers that epistemic or reducible uncertainties can also affect the total error in results. These uncertainties are derived from a wide range of sources including human error, such as data transcription, model structure, measurement and linguistic errors in communication. The issue of epistemic uncertainty is reviewed and interpreted in the context of the MoRPhEUS, ExPOSURE and HERMES cohort studies which investigate the effect of radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation from mobile phones on memory performance. Research into this field has found inconsistent results due to limitations from a range of epistemic sources. Potential analytic approaches are suggested based on quantification of epistemic error using Monte Carlo simulation. It is recommended that future studies investigating the relationship between radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation and memory performance pay more attention to treatment of epistemic uncertainties as well as further research into improving exposure assessment. Use of directed acyclic graphs is also encouraged to display the assumed covariate relationship. View Full-Text
Keywords: radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation; epistemic uncertainty; aleatory uncertainty; memory; cognitive function radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation; epistemic uncertainty; aleatory uncertainty; memory; cognitive function
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Brzozek, C.; Benke, K.K.; Zeleke, B.M.; Abramson, M.J.; Benke, G. Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Radiation and Memory Performance: Sources of Uncertainty in Epidemiological Cohort Studies. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 592.

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