Cell phone radiation can increase brain cancer risk by 500%, research shows

August 19th, 2015, by

In the tech age, people who do not own a cell phone are assumed to be either Amish or deaf. Rarely using or not owning a cell phone may have its own benefits, however. A recent meta-study found a link between long-term cell phone exposure and a host of ailments.

The study, entitled “Oxidative mechanisms of biological activity of low-intensity radiofrequency radiation” and published in the journal Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, is sure to shake the scientific establishment. Previous studies that attempted to show a link between cancer and cell phones were relatively thin.  In order to make a powerful case, the researchers reviewed hundreds of articles that explored the effects of low-intensity radiofrequency radiation (RFR) on living cells. The results of the meta-analysis proved sobering.(1,2)

Cells phones and oxidative stress

The researchers’ findings suggest that radiation exhibited by cell phones can cause a metabolic imbalance known as oxidative stress. Oxidative stress occurs when free radicals (also known as reactive oxidative species, or ROS) outbalance antioxidants. The condition is tied to a wide range of health problems including cancer, headache, fatigue and skin irritation, among other infirmities.(1)

Oxidative stress is a result of environmental pollutants rather than biology. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classified RFR as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” in 2011, after an increased risk for glioma, a fatal brain tumor, was found to be associated with cell phone use. The meta-analysis confirmed these suspicions. “These data are a clear sign of the real risks this kind of radiation poses for human health,” said co-author of the study Dr. Igor Yakymenko.(3,4,5)

Researchers found that individuals who chat on a cell phone 20 minutes a day for five years had three times the risk of developing a specific type of brain tumor. In addition, chatting on a cell phone for an hour a day for four years increased the risk of developing tumors three to five times.(3)

The risk of developing cancer from moderate cell phone use is low. Nevertheless, Dr. Yakymenko claims we should still be cautious. Constant exposure to radiation, even in small doses, can have an accumulative effect over time. The diseases that can ensue from this exposure may not be manifest for 30 years. Due to this, it is difficult to study the long-term effects cell phone use has on human health.

Children at greater health risk

The study had other limitations as well. Most of the participants in the overview were adults who had used cell phones for nearly 10 years. The impact that cell phone radiation could have on children was unaccounted for in the study.

Children are particularly susceptible to health problems. To make matters worse, children are exposed to cell phones at an early age, and will likely use them for a life time.(3)

These findings are sure to stir controversy among scientists and the public. It stirs controversy within the scientific community, since most studies that claimed to link cell phones with cancer were sneered upon in the past. It is sure to stir controversy within the public, since cell phone companies would be liable for selling devices that carry health risks to customers.

The threat of oxidative stress literally sits in your hands, pocket or purse. Fortunately, you can take steps to avoid the health risks attached to cell phones. Try using your cell phone less often throughout the day, keeping it off when it’s not in use and holding it several inches away from your skin when in use. Resort to text messages when appropriate. Use the speaker when talking on the phone. This reduces the amount of radiofrequency radiation being sent through your head. With these restrictions in place, you may save yourself from phoning in a medical emergency.

Sources include:

(1) http://jonathanturley.org

(2) http://informahealthcare.com

(3) http://www.nydailynews.com

(4) http://www.alphagalileo.org

(5) http://www.iarc.fr[PDF]