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Radiation Scare from Smartphones - VIDEO and article - truth about mobile phone radiation and health risks

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"Growing evidence that mobile phone radiation affects living tissues - health risks?"

Video comment by Dr Patrick Dixon on research showing possible health risks from heavy exposure to mobile phone radiation. Risks probably very small in normal use.


Below is an archive page....but situation relatively unchanged as of 2011.

2.5 times risk of brain tumours from phone radiation in humans? Early Alzheimers disease from destroyed brain cells? Reports showing no health risk at all? Each month we see more reports about mobile phone radiation effects - but what does it actually mean for you and me? Is there really a health risk? Here is a common-sense personal view from a physician and parent of four children who is also a major user of wireless devices of all kinds.

mobile phone - radiation from mobile phones

New reports continue to be published several times a year, suggesting that there might be health risks from mobile phones electromagnetic radiation. Yet other studies show little or no health impact.

There can be no doubt any longer that mobile phone radiation affects living cells. For example research shows that nematode worms exposed to mobile phone radiation produce more eggs, release stress hormones and grow larger.

But what is the effect of mobile phone radiation on people? Could we see a mass court action in twenty years time against telecom companies by people claiming compensation for health damage caused by radiation? It's a possibility, even though at present the clear evidence suggests that if there is any effect on human health at all from use of a mobile phone, the electromagnetic radiation risk is very, very low for the individual user.

However some studies have caused concern in the media. For example, in October 2004, scientists at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm gave a new warning about mobile phone radiation and brain tumours - accoustic neuromas (published in the journal Epidemiology). They found that long term users of mobile phones were four times as likely to develop growths on the side they held the phone, and twice as likely as non-users to develop these benign non-cancerous growths. They saw no increased risk from mobile phone radiation in those who had used mobile phones for less than 10 years. The study was of 150 mobile phone users, compared to 60 in a control group.

March 2003 another study in the International Journal of Oncology suggested that mobile phone users had a 30% increased risk of brain tumours - mainly accoustic neuromas - which occurred close to the ear used for mobile phone listening. Previous studies had shown that growth of leukaemia cells could be increased dramatically after exposure to mobile phone radiation. Although accoustic neuromas do not metastasise (jump to invade other parts of the body) they can create serious problems if intreated. The early symptoms can be hearing loss, loss of balance or noises in one ear - but all these are very common for many other reasons. Advanced growths can invade other nearby areas, causing pressure on the brain.

What makes these studies difficult to evaluate is that a number of other research studies into mobile phone radiation have not shown the same findings. And the effects may be very different depending on the type of electromagnetic radiation. GSM and GPRS (2.5G) phones use what is known as pulsed radiation. The levels rise and fall very rapidly. 3G phones on the other hand use continuous levels. Some research suggests that pulsed radiation may have a greater effect on cells than constant exposure, which is important because different studies have used different types of radiation - perhaps an explanation for some of the more confusing results.

Short exposure to mobile phone radiation kills brain cells in rats

Short exposure to Mobile phone radiation - two hours - has been reported in 2003 to destroy cells in parts of the brain important for memory, movement and learning, and could possibly conceivably premature onset of illnesses such as Alzheimers - although we have no evidence of a similar effect in humans. Lund University Hospital Professor Leif Salford says mobile radiation allows harmful proteins and toxins through the brain barrier in rats. He also has found significant degree of damage to brain neurons in adolescent rats.

He said: "If this effect was to transfer to young mobile users, the effects could be terrifying. We can see reduced brain reserve capacity, meaning those who might normally have got Alzheimer's or dementia in old age could get it much earlier." He used rats aged 12-26 weeks because their brain cells were still developing in a similar way to teenagers and younger children. They were exposed for just 120 minutes to radiation equivalent to typical intensive mobile phone use. Sections of rat brains were examined 50 days after exposure. Animals exposed to medium and high level radiation had many dead neurons in their brains - totally different from rats which were not exposed to radiation. (published Feb 2003).

The trouble is that similar studies cannot be carried out in humans because mobile phone radiation exposure would have to be followed by brain biopsy which can cause epilepsy later, permanent brain damage, stroke or even death. We can only get the answer in humans by doing studies on brain tissue of teenagers killed in accidents, and comparing brain tissue of heavy, medium, light and non-users of mobile phones. In addition, we have yet to see other centres replicate his work.

Dr Kjell Hansson Mild in Sweden studied radiation risk in 11,000 mobile telephone users. Symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, burning sensations on the skin were more common among those who made 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. See below for SAR data on mobile phone radiation levels. Once again, for every study with a positive finding of effect on cells, there is another that has found nothing.

As I say, from a physician's point of view this is all rather difficult to interpret. The truth is that no one knows for sure, but it looks as though the health risks for an individual person with normal patterns of use are extremely low, almost non-existent. I still use a mobile phone, as do our teenage children, and my home has a wireless network as well as hands-free local handsets for landlines. The only steps we have taken are to mount the wireless LAN connection a few feet from where anyone sits, and to encourage our younger children not to spend their entire lives chatting away on mobiles - there are other reasons for that too such as homework and of course cost.

Celphone.gif (12018 bytes)

As long ago as June 1998 the Lancet reported that radiation from mobiles caused an increase of blood pressure. Dr Braune and colleagues in Freiburg, Germany, attached mobiles to the right side of the heads of ten volunteers. The phones were switched on and off by remote control without the volunteers knowing - so that any radiation effect could be separated from the psychological effect of holding a mobile phone. Their blood pressure rose each time by between 5-10mm Hg, probably from an electromagnetic radiation induced constrictive effect on blood vessels from the mobile phones.

This level of increase would be more than enough to trigger a stroke or heart attack in someone at severe risk, but is harmless in the vast majority of people. This was the first firm evidence that mobile phone radiation could directly alter cell function in the human body. But what about longer term radiation effects of using mobile phones? Could mobile phone exposure trigger cancer? Birth defects? What about the health risks not just from mobile phones but the transmitter masts?

This work on human subjects follows other ealier mobile phone studies in animals suggesting that electromagnetic radiation from mobiles may cause brain tumours, cancer, anxiety, memory loss and serious birth defects. But different studies have contradicted many of these findings. As in so much of cutting edge science, there are real uncertainties about mobile phone radiation. Remember it has taken 30 years to work out the side-effects of oral contraceptives and even that is still debated. Here are some of the more negative reports.

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 electromagnetic radiation from mobile phones in rats. And other studies of electromagnetic radiation on pregnant mice suggest that high exposure to mobile phones can affect intra-uterine development, confirmed recently in chicks (double birth defects, see below). The effects of mobile phone radiation in human embryo development are unknown.

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

Celphone.gif (12018 bytes)Smartphones vary on radiation dosage: Following figures are for European mobile phones in SARS (watts of radiation from mobile phones per kg of brain), antenna extended / retracted. Safety is 10 watts/kg. Lowest radiation levels from phones with hidden antennae or ones extended away from head. Below that are SAR levels for US mobile phones. Note that there are different figures for SAR levels around for the same mobile phones, I suspect because some are official company data, and others independent lab measurements and that there may be other variables according to the exact conditions. For example the first table below shows big SAR phone radiation differences depending on the position of the aerial.

List of some European mobile phone SAR levels

Manufacturer and Model Extended/retracted SAR level
1. Nokia 2110 0.44/0.25
2. Nokia 5110 0.37
3. Nokia 6110 0.29
4. Bosch World 718 0.28/0.33
5. Ericsson GA628 0.26
6. Hagenuk Global Handy 0.03
7. Motorola Star V3688 0.02
8. Motorola Star TAC 70 0.02/0.01

(Source: National Physical Laboratory UK.)

List of top 10 highest radiation mobile phones in the US - SAR

Manufacturer and Model SAR Level
1. Ericsson T28 World 1.49
2. Nokia Digital 5160 1.45
3. Nokia 5170 1.45
4. Denso TP 2200 1.44
5. Qualcomm QCP-1960 1.41
6. Sanyo SCP-4500 1.4
7. Sony CMB-1200, 2200, 3200 1.3906
8. Nokia 8860 1.39
9a. Motorola StarTAC 7867 1.38
9b. Motorola ST7767D 1.38
9c. Motorola Talkabout T8167 1.38
9d. Motorola Timeport P8167 1.38
10. Neopoint NP-1000 1.38

List of 10 lowest radiation mobile phones in the US - SAR

Manufacturer and Model * SAR Level
1. Motorola StarTAC 7860 0.24
2. Qualcomm pdQ-1900 0.2634
3. Mitsubishi Trium Galaxy G-130 0.35
4. Motorola TalkAbout 2297 0.35
5a. Motorola ST7797 0.39
5b. Motorola T8097 0.39
5c. Motorola P8097 0.39
6. Motorola StarTAC 7790i 0.42
7. Motorola i1000plus 0.43
8a. Motorola G520 0.457
8b. Motorola M3682 0.457
9a. Ericsson KF-688 0.477
9b. Ericsson DF-688 0.477
10. Motorola M3097 0.53

(Source of both tables above: official manufacturers SAR data sent to FCC, and then collated by DoMode.com and CNET.com. These figures may not be 100% accurate and Global Change Ltd cannot take responsability for them.)

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!

Other News

UK government report says now clear that mobile phone radiation can affect brain function. Now that 20,000 radio masts in the UK are active it means that everyone is being subjected to constant low level electromagnetic radiation. Sunday Times 12 March 2000.

However, the levels from phone masts are suprisingly tiny. A single mobile phone can generate a watt of radiation, which it needs to get a signal the long distance to the nearest mast. However, a mast only needs in many cases a power of around 8 watts to handle all the calls in the area. It has a physical advantage because of great height, and the radio spectrum from the mast is wide enough for it to manage all the calls with a low wattage. It is strange quirk of physics. And because the radiation dose falls dramatically with every 10 centimetres of distance, you can see that the radiation exposure of people living close to a mast is likely to be a minute fraction of the dose if they were making a mobile call themselves.

New research suggests living downwind from an electricity pylon can increase the risk of lung cancer significantly. Ionisation of the air causes microscopic pollution particles to become charged so they stick to the lining of the lung. Once again though this has been contradicted by other research. September 2000

The Nokia 3210 has a rather high SAR. SAR of 25 new cell-phone models:

Manufacturer: Model: SAR: (*)

  • Motorola Star Tac 130 (A) 0.10 +
  • Motorola Star Tac 130 (B) 0.38 +
  • Nokia 8810 0.22 --
  • Sony CMD-C1 0.55 --
  • Ericsson I8888 World 0.60 +
  • Ericsson S868 0.77 +
  • Nokia 6110 0.87 --
  • Ericsson A1018s 0.88 +
  • Ericsson SH888 0.90 +
  • Trium Galaxy (A) 0.93 ++
  • Trium Galaxy (B) 1.16 ++
  • Motorola cd930 0.94 +
  • Panasonic EB-G520 0.95 --
  • Alcatel One Touch max (A) 0.97 -
  • Alcatel One Touch max (B) 1.29 -
  • Ericsson T18s 0.97 +
  • Nokia 6150 0.98 --
  • Panasonic EB-GD70 0.99 --
  • Philips Savy 1.11 -
  • Bosch GSM 909 1.13 -
  • Nokia 3210 1.14 --
  • Motorola cd920 1.17 +
  • Nokia 3110 1.24 --
  • Philips Genie 1800 (A) 1.26 +
  • Philips Genie 1800 (B) 1.41 +
  • Siemens C25 1.33 --
  • Philips Genie 900 (A) 1.52 +
  • Philips Genie 900 (B) 2.67 +
  • Motorola v3688 1.58 +
  • Bosch GSM 908 1.59 -

SAR in W/kg

(A) = with extended antenna (B) = antenna not extended

(*) = Warnings about possible radiation hazards in the user manual:

-- = none - = bad + = good ++ = very good

Related news items:
Newer news items:

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

August 01, 2017 - 20:21

Until now, the question remains unanswered as to whether mobile phones bring any harm to the human body. Studies consistently produce different results. Therefore, it is not yet known what risk millions of mobile phone users are exposed to and how this may affect them in the future.
William H. - www.ahealthgroup.net

February 13, 2014 - 15:10

is there any alternative to reduce em waves.not to be like precautions

Reply to
Patrick Dixon
December 07, 2012 - 16:55

Thanks great to hear.

Mark Twain
October 07, 2012 - 17:45
Where's all the sources of this so-called research?

Many times this article says "studies" or "research" shows this or that, but it provides no sources for those claims. This article smells of more hidden agendas pseudoscience... That said, I don't use a cell phone (except for 911) because I find it a waste of my time and money. And in the USA if you need a cell phone for emergencies, you can call 911 for free, with no need to pay for any service plan.

Reply to Mark Twain
Dr Patrick Dixon
November 09, 2012 - 12:58

Thanks - I assure you that the article was well researched and although written a while back, is still pointing in the right direction. Reputable research papers continue to be published on a regular basis that suggest there could be a very low risk per user, but multiplied up by more than 4 billion users of mobile phones, the collective impact adds up. There is a lot we still do not understand about prolonged exposure of human tissue to high energy electromagnetic radiation, especially around the ear / head. We also do not know the impact on very young users, and it may take us a generation to be sure. I am a fairly light user of mobile, and tend to use hands free for long calls. I am a heavy user of wireless cards in my PC, especially when travelling. But exposure drops hugely with every centimetre of distance from a transmitter from the human body.

muhammad shafique
September 20, 2011 - 07:18

computer having many side effects on the health of human beings

May 26, 2011 - 20:38
2500 X more Radiation from HAM Radio

cell phone are 0.6 watts. Ham Radio also known as amateur radio are 1500 watts !
you tube video [ Antenna Stirs Up Controversy ] identify how ham radio antenna type ( they looks like monster TV antenna ) , make thing worse, one of ham radio wave range is same as microwave oven. most powerful microwave oven are rated 1200 watts.

sharon baker
March 04, 2011 - 11:04

This is very important and required topic for discussion with everyone... because today's world.... cell (phone) became a essential part of our daily life

naveed lali
December 14, 2010 - 08:02

mobile phones having many side effects on the health of human beings

November 22, 2010 - 12:24

Radiation in cell phones and the health risks associated with that, have been a topic for discussion since the booming trend of mobile technology. Some people believe the radiation emitted can potentially be extremely dangerous for cell phone users. Many medical professionals have long been at work to test and retest the workings and determine the exact symptoms and causes of cell phone radiation that harm pregnant mothers.

nurul atiqah
August 03, 2010 - 12:27
to comment

dont uses the mobile phone to close around you neck and ears

Agnes Tumushabe
July 14, 2010 - 08:52

I use a chinese cell phone called E55i. My middle ear hurts regardless of how long the call was.
Shold i throw it away!

Agnes - Uganda

Reply to Agnes Tumushabe
November 03, 2010 - 01:07


Reply to Agnes Tumushabe
November 29, 2010 - 17:04

yah idiot wtf is wrong with you

vikash jain
July 01, 2010 - 08:22
effect of mobile phone on this animal

actully what happen to these worms effect on animals like bees sparrow are getting exinted.

July 01, 2010 - 08:15

how use of gprs in nokia 1680 effect human body?

mohammed shakeeluddin
June 17, 2010 - 15:05
stop the mobile service and make cheap price of land line phone


June 07, 2010 - 19:43
cell phone shielding

I've noticed there is a product on the market, sort of a cloth-like material that one could place in a cell-phone holder, or scabbard to reduce the radiation.

Can these be effective.

Henry Lahore
November 16, 2008 - 15:55
14+ simple things you can do to reduce Cell phone RF:

Use a speaker phone
Alternate which ear you listen to the cell phone with
Reduce the total amount of time using the cell phone
Use a wired or cordless phone for long conversations.
Minimize use of your cell phone where you have weak signals
Change network/provider
Use a headset
Buy a cell phone with a very low SAR rating
Use cell phone with an external antenna
Wear a Bluetooth device
Buy a femtocell for your home
Buy a cell phone signal amplifier or repeater
Keep changing the orientation between your cell phone and your ear

September 15, 2008 - 18:11

you have not compare the radation ratio in between gsm and cdma technology.

Join the Debate! What are your own views?



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