Alterations of visual reaction time and short term memory in military radar personnel
Radar transmitters emit high-power radiofrequency radiation by creation of a high-voltage and high-frequency alternating electrical current.Health effects of occupational exposure to military radar were investigated. Visual reaction time was recorded with a simple blind computer-assisted-visual reaction time test. To assess the short-term memory, modified Wechsler Memory Scale test was performed.The mean +/- SD reaction time in radar works (N=100) and the control group (N=57) were 238.58 +/- 23.47 milliseconds and 291.86 +/- 28.26 milliseconds (P<0.0001), respectively. The scores of forward digit span in radar works and the control group were 3.56 +/- 0.77 and 4.29 +/- 1.06 (P<0.0001), while the scores of backward digit span in radar works and the control group were 2.70 +/- 0.69 and 3.62 +/- 0.95 (P<0.0001). The scores of word recognition in radar works and the control group were 3.37 +/- 1.13 and 5.86 +/- 1.11 (P<0.0001). Finally, the scores of paired words in radar works and the control group were 13.56 +/- 1.78 and 15.21 +/- 2.20 (P<0.0001). It can be concluded that occupational exposures to radar radiations decreases reaction time, which may lead to a better response to different hazards.To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to show that occupational exposure to radar microwave radiation leads to decreased reaction time and the lower performance of short-term memory. Altogether, these results indicate that occupational exposure to radar microwave radiations may be linked to some non-detrimental and detrimental health effects.
|Issue||Vol 42 No 4 (2013)|
|Health effects Microwave Military radar Occupational exposure Radiofrequency|
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