Mobile phone use radiation scare - what is the truth about health risks from using smartphones?

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Below is an archive page dating back to 1998 - but general research findings are relatively unchanged as of 2011.

Short exposure to mobile phone radiation appears to destroys brain cells in rats and may lead to the early Alzheimer's disease.

Mobile phone users may be placing their health at risk from electromagnetic radiation - according to Dr Kjell Hansson Mild in Sweden who studied 11,000 mobile phone users. He reported in May 1998 that symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, burning sensations on the skin are more common among those who make longer mobile phone calls. At the same time there, are a growing number of unconfirmed reports of individuals whose health has been affected after chronic, frequent use of mobile phones, presumably from radiation effects on cells.

Celphone.gif (12018 bytes)Now there is increasing evidence of definite effects of mobile phone radiation on human health. In June 1998, the Lancet reported that radiation from mobile phones causes an increase of blood pressure. Dr Braune and colleagues in Freiburg, Germany, attached mobile phones to the right side of the heads of ten volunteers. The phones were switched on and off by remote control without the volunteers knowing. Their blood pressure rose each time by between 5-10mm Hg, probably from a constrictive effect on blood vessels. This level of increase would be more than enough to trigger a stroke or heart attack in someone at severe risk. This was the first firm evidence that mobile phone radiation could directly alter cell function in the human body. But what about longer term effects of using mobile phones? Could such radiation exposure trigger cancer?

This work on human subjects follows other studies in animals, suggesting that radiation from mobile phones may cause brain tumours, cancer, anxiety and memory loss. An Australian study found that mice exposed to pulsed digital mobile phone radiation over 18 months had twice the risk of developing cancers. An American study found that learning and short term memory were impaired after 45 minutes exposure to radiation from mobile phones in rats. And other studies of electromagnetic radiation on pregnant mice suggest that high exposure to mobile phone use can affect intra-uterine development. Worms exposed to mobile phone radiation grow larger, produce more eggs and release more stress hormone.

Celphone.gif (12018 bytes)The effects of mobile phone radiation in humans are unknown. In Britain, a 27 year old woman with a brain tumour is taking a mobile phone manufacturer to court who she blames for her tumour. A biologist, Roger Coghill, has also been given permission to bring a case against a provider of mobile phone equipment for failing to warn people of radiation hazards. A wide variety of electrical devices contribute to electrosmog, ranging from computers, to phones, TV sets, radar transmitters and transformers. However, mobile phone radiation is certainly intense, as evidenced by the effects on aircraft navigation systems, or more obviously on a nearby conventional telephone or a music system.

Meanwhile, The European Union is drawing up guidelines for electromagnetic radiation exposure of all types.

So what do we make of it all?

  • The greatest risk to a mobile phone user is from an accident while distracted - particularly when driving. This risk is likely to be many tens of thousands of times greater than a radiation hazard.
  • Evidence from human studies of mobile phone radiation is now of raised blood pressure, direct brain warming (very mild) as well as of mild sensations in heavy users. These effects are short term and unlikely to cause any health problems in the vast majority of users even over many years.
  • There is no evidence so far of mobile phone radiation causing tumour formation or memory impairment in humans - may be memory enhancing. Much more research needed.
  • Mice, rats and chickens may be more sensitive to electromagnetic effects from mobile phones on their cells. So results on animals may not be valid for humans. We just don't know.
  • Further human studies of mobile phone health risks are urgently needed, because of the very large numbers using mobiles.
  • Whatever effects of using mobile phones there may be in humans, the health risk to an individual user from electromagnetic radiation is likely to be very, very small indeed, but it is possible that some individuals may be more prone to radiation side effects than others.
  • Expect large numbers of people to come forward with claims that a wide variety of conditions have been triggered or made worse by use of mobile phones. These claims will be extremely difficult to prove. Even if a link is shown, proving that a particular case was directly related to heavy mobile phone use is almost impossible. This has been the case, for example, over Gulf War syndrome, or reactions to MMR vaccine, or the debates over passive smoking, or clustering of leukaemia cases near power stations.
  • If the case against mobiles were to become established in people's minds, expect many lawsuits alleging that other sources of electromagnetic radiation have also damaged health or caused birth defects - for example electricity sub-stations, computers, generators, minicab aerials.
  • Some manufacturers already sell radiation shields for mobiles, reducing electromagnetic radiation to the head. Many or most of these seem to be based on very doubtful claims.
  • Moving the mobile phone aerial eight inches from the head, instead of one inch, would dramatically reduce exposure - dose falls to 1/64th as the square of the distance.
  • Good quality, screened hands free mobile phone kits, allowing earpiece and microphone attached to phone in pocket, massively reduce brain exposure to electromagnetic radiation, but may increase exposure to the pelvis and the unborn - again with significance unknown!

Article written in 1999.

Update 2000: New research articles continue to appear, suggesting links between heavy phone use and human health cases - but the risks do appear to be very small - except perhaps in very heavy users, with particular concern about young childeren. See Mobile phone radiation - latest news from 100,000 publications for more.

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Thanks for promoting with Facebook LIKE or Tweet. Really interested to read your views. Post below.

Danielle Peazer
June 04, 2014 - 03:14


February 15, 2012 - 05:03

how radiations effect our health?

March 28, 2011 - 11:05

Fukashima is bad to all and is to destroy one another by 2012. So we have 1 year to live or we can get hit by a bus tommorow. Your choice.
Siillz :)

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