Cell Phones:

Cell Phones / Mobile Phones, Cancers And Brain Tumors
What Is The Truth?

Cell phones and cancer are in the news all the time now it seems. But almost everyone uses cell phones. All over the world, tens of millions of people are pressing them against their heads for hours every day. In the U.S. it is estimated that there were at least 100 million cell phone users, as of early 2002, and that number has continued to climb.

So what's the fuss? Is cancer caused by cell phones a serious concern, or the media's panic-du-jour?

A cell phone, and a household cordless phone, use a low level form of microwave radiation to send and receive their signals. How do cell phones work? Microwaves, as you know, are used to cook food. As the radiation penetrates tissue it causes it to heat.

Is this a problem for us with cell phones? That is the current debate. Let's examine the positions and the known evidence, without hype or prejudice. As always, EHSO will provide citations and links to the sources of any evidence provided, so you can verify it for yourself.

Positions, Pro And Con
Cell Phones Are Dangerous
Cell Phones Are Safe
Latest News
Studies, Facts And Evidence
What Is The Radiation Produced By A Cell Phone?

Like televisions, alarm systems, computers, and all other electrical devices, Cell phones (also called mobile phones) are radio devices that use Radiofrequency (Rf) energy emit electromagnetic radiation. They operate at low power (less than 1 watt) by transmitting and receiving electromagnetic radiation in the radiofrequency (RF) end of the spectrum. Radiation which is called "ionizing" can be absorbed by tissue and break molecules apart, such as gamma rays and x-rays, are known to cause cancer. The concern is that the cell phone and It's antenna (the source of the radiation) are held close against the head)

The damage to the dna molecules is thought to be the cause. The radiation that a cell phone uses is also part of the same electromagnetic spectrum, but is not ionizing. For this reason, the US FDA can regulate these devices to ensure that the radiation doesn't pose a health hazard to users, but only once the existence of a public health hazard has been established. "It's Not a Food or Medical Product, So Why FDA?", RF energy was mistakenly thought to similarly cause cancer.


Newer phones are digital. The older analog phones are expected to be phased out by 2006. The major difference is that analog phones use much more power than digital. Analog use about 1.3 Watts, while a digital mobile phone is designed to operate at a maximum power level of 0.6 watts.
By comparison, a household microwave oven uses between 600 and 1,100 watts.


In the United States, mobile phones operate in a frequency ranging from about 850 to 1900 megahertz (MHz). In that range, the radiation produced is in the form of non-ionizing radiofrequency (RF) energy. This RF energy is different than the ionizing radiation like that from a medical x-ray, which can present a health risk at certain doses.

Ionizing gamma rays and x-rays can cause cancer when their energy is absorbed by the tissue and chemical bonds are broken, damaging DNA. RF energy, on the other hand, produces heating of tissue. Although there is a small amount of experimental evidence that suggests RF energy can impact DNA in rats, this data has been contradicted by several other animal studies and is not well substantiated. Even if true, the doses administered in these animal studies were much larger than the exposure in humans and may have no relevance to cell phone use at all. So although the RF energy emitted by cell phones is in the electromagnetic spectrum, and other forms of electromagnetic radiation can cause cancer, RF energy is very different and has not been shown to cause cancer.

At high enough levels, RF energy, too, can be harmful, because of its ability to heat living tissue to the point of causing biological damage. In a microwave oven, It's RF energy that cooks the food, but the heat generated by cell phones is small in comparison.

A mobile phone's main source of RF energy is its antenna, so the closer the antenna is to a phone user's head, the greater the person's expected exposure to RF energy.

Because RF energy from a cell phone falls off quickly as distance increases between a person and the radiation source (actually, by the distance squared), the safety of mobile phones with an antenna mounted away from the user, like on the outside of a car, has been presumed to be safe. The distance and the effect of the car acting as a Gaussian cage would virtually eliminate the radiation inside the car. Also not presently in doubt is the safety of those so-called cordless phones that have a base unit attached to a home's telephone wiring and operate at much lower power levels than cell phones.

Many experts say that no matter how near the cell phone's antenna--even if It's right up against the skull--the six-tenths of a watt (typically) of power emitted couldn't possibly affect human health.

Scientific Studies To Date

Some mobile phone users have been diagnosed with brain cancer, and many others who have not used mobile phones have gotten the disease, too. Each year in the United States, brain cancer occurs at a rate of about six new cases per 100,000 people. Among the 100 million Americans who own mobile phones, then, about 6,000 cases of brain cancer would be expected among them in a year, even if they had not used mobile phones.

Scientific studies have focused on the question of whether the statistical risk of getting brain cancer is increased in those who use mobile phones compared to non-users, leaving to the courts the judgment of whether Chris Newman or other individuals would have gotten the disease had they not used a cell phone.

Two types of studies are generally used to investigate suspected cancer causes: epidemiological studies, which look at the incidence of a disease in certain groups of people, and animal studies.

Epidemiological studies are sometimes difficult to carry out in a way that can determine whether a cause-and-effect relationship exists between a single variable in a person's life (in this case, cell phone use) and the person's disease (brain cancer). Some factors that complicate research into the asserted link between cell phones and brain cancer: Brain cancer can take years or even decades to develop, making possible long-term effects of mobile phone use difficult to study; mobile phone technology is ever-evolving; and so many lifestyle factors--even down to the precise position in which a person holds the phone, as well as his or her own anatomy--can affect the extent of radiation exposure.

Studies in animals are easier to control, but entail complications of their own. For example, how should results obtained in rats and mice be interpreted in terms of human health risks? And how can scientists account for the fact that these studies sometimes expose animals to RF almost continuously--up to 22 hours a day--and to whole-body radiation, unlike people's head-only exposure?

While studies generally have shown no link between cell phones and brain cancer, there is some conflicting scientific evidence that may be worth additional study, according to FDA. The FDA says on their website that they are closely following ongoing research into whether there might be any association between cell phones and cancer.

A long-term study begun in 1994 by the government's National Cancer Institute is already under way to examine possible risk factors for brain cancer. It compares past usage of mobile phones (as well as other environmental, lifestyle, and genetic factors) by 800 people with brain tumors compared with 800 others who don't have tumors.

The study, the first part of which is expected to be published early next year, will provide a "snapshot" of what the risks from cell phones could be, says Peter Inskip, Sc.D., one of the study's principal investigators. But this research, he cautions, has its own limitations. For one thing, the study was started in 1994 and it considers radiation exposures from cell phones that occurred between the mid-1980s and 1998. That time frame in large part predates the explosion in the popularity of cell phones, as well as the introduction of digital phones that work on a fraction of the energy compared with older analog varieties.

Recently, FDA announced that it will collaborate with the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) on additional laboratory and human studies of mobile phone safety. A "Cooperative Research and Development Agreement" signed in June provides for research to be conducted by third parties, with industry funding and FDA oversight to help ensure the studies' quality.

Specifically, FDA will identify the scientific questions that merit attention, propose research to address those questions, review study proposals from those interested in doing the research, make recommendations on the selection of researchers, and oversee the development of study design. Once research is begun, FDA will review the progress of ongoing studies, review the results of completed studies, and issue a report to the CTIA.

Beyond this planned research, according to the industry association, there are hundreds of scientific studies completed or in progress around the world to investigate RF's possible health effects, with half of them specifically addressing the frequencies used by wireless phones. FDA is a leading participant in the World Health Organization's International EMF (electric and magnetic fields) project to coordinate research and the harmonization of international radiation standards.

Ziff-Davis reports that researchers in Australia have reported their hypothesis that normal mobile phone use can lead to cancer. The research group, lead by radiation expert Dr Peter French, principal scientific officer at the Centre for Immunology Research at St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney, said that mobile phone frequencies well below current safety levels could stress cells in a way that has been shown to increased susceptibility to cancer.

The paper, published in the June 2001 issue of the science journal, "Differentiation", says that repeated exposure to mobile phone radiation acts as a repetitive stress, leading to continuous manufacture of heat shock proteins within cells.

Their theory is that these proteins, which are sensitive to heat, are always present in cells at a low level, but are manufactured in larger amounts when the cell is stressed by heat or other environmental factors. These proteins repair other proteins that are adversely affected by the conditions, and are part of the cell's normal reaction to stress. However, if they are produced too often or for too long, they are known to initiate cancer and increase resistance to anti-cancer drugs.

However, this group has reported absolutely evidence nor studies to substantiate this, it is only a theory.

More recently, a Finnish survey of some of the world's most popular mobile phones found the amount of radiation they emit is well below agreed limits and largely in line with data published by manufacturers. The survey conducted by Finland's Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) covered 16 new models made by top handset makers including Finland's own Nokia, Motorola of the United States and South Korea's Samsung Electronics. At this level, the study found that head tissue does not warm significantly and no other harmful effects have been proved scientifically. STUK said the SAR levels in all the 28 models tested so far ranged from 0.45 to 1.12 watts per kilogram.

"It is important that also in the future the limits set for radiation from mobile phones and base stations are based on current and confirmed scientific proof of the effects of radiation on health," Kari Jokela, a researcher at STUK, said in a statement. STUK also said that some of its studies have indicated that microwave radiation from mobile phones may cause small changes in how cells operate, but the findings were insufficient for concluding what effects of this radiation had on health. STUK will start testing third-generation UMTS-standard mobile phones during 2005, focusing on the most popular models. Other phones in the current study were made by Sony Ericsson and Siemens.

Finally, as the non-ionizing radiation does have a small heating effect, it is postulated that the effect would be greatest on the eyes and testes, due to the lower amount of blood vessels to help cool these areas.

Perceptions And Concerns

The latest studies may support the generally held position that cell phone radiation is not a substantial hazard, but they will never be able to prove cell phones to be absolutely safe. It is logically impossible to prove a negative, that cell phones can not cause cancer.


EHSO has seen no credible evidence to date that cell phones cause cancer or brain tumors. It is illogical to believe that evidence of unusual brain tumors is covered up when there are hundred's of millions of people using cell phones worldwide. There is a TREMENDOUS amount of junk science and thoroughly ignorant (as in untrained, uneducated) people running around naming themselves as experts and publishing their opinions on the internet. This hype and fear-mongering has only one goal: to puff up the egos and wallets of those propagating nonsense.

However, cell phones are still relatively new, and while science does not support that the radiation may not be likely to cause cancer, time may prove differently! And in any case, it may cause some other type of damage (certainly accidents in cars from being distracted while fumbling with the phone!)

So common sense suggests that we each take some prudent precautions.

Precautionary Steps To Take

There are some simple steps that cell phone users can take to reduce any remaining risk:

And don't believe the claims of conmen preying on people's fear of radiation, selling fraudulent devices that they say protect against radiation. These useless items are mostly sold as "shields" on the Internet. Experts says none of these devices work.

To reduce the risk of an accident while driving, here's a simple tip: enter the several numbers you call the most often in a way that brings them to the top of the list, so you can use fewer keystrokes to dial them. For example, the Motorola V60 starts with an alphabetized list when you press the multi-function button; so start your most commonly called number with "AAA", Like "aaaParents" and the next number with "AAB", like "aabHusband", then they will always appear at the top of the list, which should take fewer keystrokes and less time to dial!


Epidemiological and animal studies undertaken by the U.S. cell phone industry and others have yielded mixed results.

More Information
News, Studies And Articles
Positions By Authorities, That Conducted Their Own Research Or Are Credible To Offer A Meaningful Opinion
Cell Phones Are Dangerous
Cell Phones Do Not Cause Cancer

Additional Resources:

Cell Phone Information: Natural News 8/29/2008 - Prominent Neurosurgeons Fear Cell Phone Causes Brain Tumors

Cell Phone Information: Natural News 10/30/2008 - Cell Phone Does Cause Tumor

Cell Phone Information: Natural News 10/17/2008 - May Be Wiping Out Bees And Affecting Health Of Humans

Cell Phone Information: Natural News 12/1/2008 - Cancer Doc Issues Warning About Cell Phone Use

Cell Phone Information: Natural News 12/28/2008 - Cell Phones Linked To Brain Tumors

Cell Phone Information: Natural News 10/14/2009 - New Studies Link Cell Phone Use To Cancer And Other Maladies

Cell Phone Information: Natural News 11/10/2009 - World Health Organization Says Cell Phones Can Cause Brain Cancer

Cell Phone Information: Natural News 2/3/2010 - Cell Phones Cause Brain Cancer, Scientists Warn

Cell Phone Information: Natural News 6/20/2010 - Evidence Mounts On Links Between Cell Phones And Brain Tumors

Cell Phone Information: Natural News 6/30/2010 - Industry Funded Cell Phone Study Ignores Evidence, Whitewashes Results

Cell Phone Information: Natural News 2/28/2011 - Cell Phone Use Visibly Alters Brain Cell Activity

Cell Phone Information: Natural News 5/17/2011 - Cell Phone Towers May Be Cause Of Bee Population Collapse

Cell Phone Information: Natural News 5/23/2011 - Study On Cell Phone Dangers Prompts Major Call For School Bans

Cell Phone Information: Natural News 6/4/2011 - W.H.O. Panel Warns That Cell Phone Use May Cause Cancer

Cell Phone Information: Natural News 6/4/2011 - Do Cell Phones Cause Cancer?

Cell Phone Information: Natural News 6/28/2011 - W.H.O. Classifies Cell Phones As Possibly Carcinogenic

Cell Phone Information: Natural News 2/29/2012 - Are Cell Phones Really So Bad For Your Health?

Cell Phone Information: Natural News 4/18/2012 - Cell Phone Radiation And Cancer: Just How Much More Proof Do You Need?

Cell Phone Information: Natural News 5/30/2012 - 50 Percent Increase In Frontal And Temporal Lobe Tumors In Children

Cell Phone Information: Natural News 7/8/2012 - What The Telecommunication Companies Don't Want You To Know

Cell Phone Information: Natural News 10/28/2012 - Court Ruling: Mobile And Cordless Phones Cause Brain Tumors

Cell Phone Information: Natural News 12/3/2012 - Florida Town Passes Ordinance Warning Residents About Dangers Of Cancer Causing Cell Phones

Cell Phone Information: Natural News 1/8/2013 - Scientific Evidence Of Health Risks From Wireless Devices

Cell Phone Information: Natural News 1/14/2013 - Protect Yourself Against Electromagnetic Radiation

Cell Phone Information: Natural News 1/16/2013 - Belgium's Telecomm Boss Banned Them From His Offices

Cell Phone Information: Natural News 3/3/2013 - Cell Phone Radiation Standards Review - Another Sham?

Cell Phone Information: Natural News 3/10/2013 - Cell Phone Radiation Study Reveals Increased Brain Tumor Risk For Children

Cell Phone Information: Natural News 6/22/2013 - New Study Links Over 7,000 Cancer Deaths To Cell Phone Tower Radiation Exposures

Cell Phone Information: Jon Barron 5/7/2011 - Cell Phones And Your Brain

Cell Phone Information: Health Freedom Alliance 5/23/2011 - Do Cell Phones Really Kill Bees?

Cell Phone Information: Pittsburg Cancer Center 7/24/2008 - Warns Of Cell Phone Risks

Cell Phone Information: Dr. Mercola 8/26/2008 - Cell Phone Dangers

Cell Phone Information: Dr. Mercola 10/11/2008 - Children's Risk Of Brain Cancer 500 Percent

Cell Phone Information: Dr. Mercola 10/18/2008 - Scientists Warn Congress About Cell Phones And Cancer

Cell Phone Information: Dr. Mercola 10/18/2008 - Good News, More People Text Than Phone

Cell Phone Information: Dr. Mercola 9/3/2009 - Approaching Epidemic: Brain Damage From Mobile Phone Radiation

Cell Phone Information: Dr. Mercola 9/24/2009 - Does A Cell Phone's Radiation Effect Stop When The Call Ends?

Cell Phone Information: Dr. Mercola 11/7/2009 - Honeybees Face Towering Threat From Cell Phones

Cell Phone Information: Dr. Mercola 11/19/2009 - A Cell Phone On Your Hip Weakens Your Bones

Cell Phone Information: Dr. Mercola 12/1/2009 - Scientists Believe Your Cell Phone Is A Death Trap

Cell Phone Information: Dr. Mercola 1/12/2010 - Real Reason Cell Phone Use is Banned on Airlines

Cell Phone Information: Dr. Mercola 1/21/2010 - Shocking U.S. Senate Hearing Confirms Dangers Of Cell Phones

Cell Phone Information: Dr. Mercola 2/4/2010 - Cell Phones Are The Cigarettes Of The 21st Century - Video

Cell Phone Information: Dr. Mercola 2/16/2010 - The Big "Hidden Cell Phone Lie"

Cell Phone Information: Dr. Mercola 3/17/2010 - Does Your Cell Phone Fall At The Bottom Of The Heap For Safety?

Cell Phone Information: Dr. Mercola 3/27/2010 - New Law May Slow Cell Phone Cancer Epidemic

Cell Phone Information: Dr. Mercola 4/27/2010 - FCC Raises The Red Flag About Cell Phone Hazards

Cell Phone Information: Dr. Mercola 5/27/2010 - What Is The Real Cancer Threat From Cell Phones?

Cell Phone Information: Dr. Mercola 6/3/2010 - What Did This 10-Year, 13-Nation Study Discover?

Cell Phone Information: Dr. Mercola 6/10/2010 - Red Alert: Insider Study on Cell Phone Safety Seriously Flawed

Cell Phone Information: Dr. Mercola 10/22/2010 - Use This Common Device And Double Your Risk Of Brain Cancer

Cell Phone Information: Dr. Mercola 11/29/2010 - New Warnings About The Hazards Of Cell Phones

Cell Phone Information: Dr. Mercola 1/5/2011 - New Evidence Identifies Strong Cell Phone Cancer Link

Cell Phone Information: Dr. Mercola 3/14/2011 - 45 Healthy Adults Used A Cell Phone For 50 Minutes

Cell Phone Information: Dr. Mercola 6/2/2011 - European Leaders Call For Ban Of Cell Phones And WiFi In Schools

Cell Phone Information: Dr. Mercola 11/12/2011 - Telecom Industry Seeks To Confuse Us About The Dangers

Cell Phone Information: Dr. Mercola 12/20/2011 - Radiation From Cell Phones And WiFi Are Making People Sick

Cell Phone Information: Dr. Mercola 1/17/2012 - Why Are Cell Phones Using The Wrong Safety Standards?

Cell Phone Information: Dr. Mercola 1/19/2012 - 50 Minutes With A Cell Phone Can Alter Your Brain And DNA

Cell Phone Information: Dr. Mercola 6/16/2012 - NEW Urgent Warning To All Cell Phone Users

Cell Phone Information: Dr. Mercola 7/4/2012 - Warning: Cell Phones May Trigger ADHD And Other Behavior Problems

Cell Phone Information: Dr. Mercola 11/7/2012 - Cell Phone Gave Man A Tumor, According To Major Court Ruling

Cell Phone Information: Dr. Mercola 9/21/2013 - Children's Health Expert Panel

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