Health Risk of Mobile Phones

Posted: Saturday, June 26, 2010 | Posted by Debajyoti Datta |

In an article published in the CNN IBN on June 7, 2010, questions were raised about the effects of mobile phone base stations and mobile phone use in general and their effect on health. It was stated that ICMR would conduct a study to determine the effects of electromagnetic radiation emitted from mobile phones on health, whether it has any adverse effect on health and if so, what would be the recommended level of exposure. In true journalistic fashion, the report was skeptical about the use of mobile phones and almost seems to suggest that they were harmful, though probably the reporters themselves had a mobile phone in their pocket and were most likely using it.

Let ICMR take its own course but we can review the available scientific evidence on the use of cell phones and whether it has any adverse health effect. Firstly let us see what the WHO has to say. There are two WHO fact sheets titled Electromagnetic Radiation and Public Health: Mobile telephones and their base stations and Electromagnetic Radiation and Public health: base stations and wireless technologies. In these two fact sheets, WHO clearly states that there is no short-term health risk associated with the use of mobile phones and long term risk for 15 years usage also does not demonstrate any associated health risk.

It is worthwhile to note that FM radio signals and TV signals are absorbed by our body 5 times more than signals used in mobile telephones. Despite long continued exposure to FM radio waves and TV signals, no significant health risks have been demonstrated till date. Hence, in the same note, it would be unscientific to assume that use of mobile phones would be associated with a health risk.

In a recent study titled “Brain tumour Risk in Relation to Mobile telephone Use: Result of INTERPHONE International Case-Control Study” published in the International Journal of Epidemiology 2010, 39(3), 675-694, an interview based case-control study with 2708 glioma and 2409 meningioma cases and matched controls in 13 countries was conducted using a common protocol. Without going into the statistical details of the study, we can just state the conclusion that there is no increased risk of glioma or meningioma associated with mobile phone use.

In another study published in the British Medical Journal on June 22, 2010, titled "Mobile phone base stations and early childhood cancers: case-control study" that investigated the effect of exposure of mobile telephone signals on pregnant women and the risk of development of early childhood cancers, no association was found between the risk of early childhood cancers and mothers exposure to mobile phone signals.

Bottom line is that whoever is telling about the health hazards of mobile phone use, they are just trying to scare you because hard scientific evidence states otherwise.



  1. said...
  2. Great post, well said!

  3. chandra said...
  4. Yes, this risk associated with mobile should be given high priority. every state should make many awareness programs, hope this article is shared with face book!

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  5. Carol said...
  6. I know that there has been a long ongoing discussion about the health hazard that comes along with using a cellphone. With how tech-savvy our world is today, I don't believe it would be easy to completely eliminate radiation in our environment.

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