Health Risks Related to Cell Phone Use

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Health Risks Related to Cell Phone Use

Many people have raised the question: "Can cell phones cause brain damage?" The answer, well it depends on who you ask. There have been many studies that have all found various results. There have been studies on humans that were conducted by the Swedish, British, and Americans. There have also been tests conducted on animals.

In the U.S., cellular telephones operate in a frequency ranging from about 800 to 2100 megahertz (11). The radiation produced is higher than radios and cordless phones, but lower than that of microwave ovens and radar. The radiation emitted from cell phones is in the form of non-ionizing radio frequency (RF), which is different from ionizing radiation (11). Ionizing radiation can present a health risk, however it hasn't been proven if non-ionizing radiation presents a health risk. This is what many of the studies are trying to find.

The cell phone's main source of RF energy comes from the antenna (11). The antenna is usually along side the person's head while they speak on a cell phone. Some cell phones have antennas that extend out closer to the brain others have designed antennas that extend away from the head. According to the Federal Communications Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, cell phone radiation levels are well within the acceptable minimums for exposure (9). All of these are American administrations. There are other countries that have found other information.

The Swedish medical investigators say that cell phone users, especially of older analog phones, are at risk of developing brain tumors, which are most likely to appear on the side of the head where users hold their phones (9). Their report was based on a two-year evaluation of the cases of 233 patients with brain tumors. The Americans claim that everything is safe and the Swedish claim that cell phones can cause brain tumors, so whom do we listen to? We can only wait until there is solid evidence that RF radiation does or does not cause damage.

Cell phone signals were recently tested on rats and they were found to cause nerve damage. The study was on the web site of the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

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