Mobile Phone Health Risks: The Current State of Evidence

Here’s some of the latest information from 2019 and 2020 surrounding mobile phone radiation and health risks. 

Mobile phones are known to emit radiofrequency (RF) radiation. This is measured using SAR – specific absorption rate. If you’d like to learn more about this, visit the WaveWall blog here. 

In 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) concluded that there was ‘clear evidence’ of mobile phone radiation’s potentially carcinogenic effects following this landmark study. The National Toxicology Program of the US Department of Health has since been accused of downplaying some of the evidence. Whilst they admit there is clear evidence of carcinogenic effects in rats, evidence surrounding both brain tumours in humans as well as thyroid and adrenal tumours has been heavily underrepresented. The sentiment of the scientific community is that governments should be more urgent in advising the public to the possible health effects of mobile phones. 

A review of mobile phone radiation published in the Guardian compared the wireless industry to that of the tobacco industry in the 60s – we are probably knocking on the door of major scientific evidence that truly illuminates the dangers of our increasing mobile phone usage. 

In 2019, this Q&A session with public health researcher Joel Moskowitz from Berkeley University discussed various studies covering thyroid and adrenal cancer, heart tumours, breast cancer and infertility in both men and women, all resulting from mobile phone radiation. 

“We’re seeing an epidemic of thyroid gland tumors, which this may be partially responsible for. There is one case series of four women who had breast cancers, multifocal tumors in the location of the breast, where they stored their cell phone for significant periods of time.”

“The strongest evidence, probably even more so than the brain tumor risk is for sperm damage in males — male infertility. In females — miscarriage and preterm birth, there’s lesser evidence, but there is definitely a body of research that’s accumulating.”

This Q&A further cements views raised in the Guardian article about possible influence from the wireless industry in playing down negative findings. Despite clear evidence, scepticism about whether or not mobile phone radiation is harmful remains amongst official bodies such as the FDA and Cancer Research UK, even though the sentiment amongst the scientific community is strong:

“The International EMF Scientist Appeal calls for stronger regulation of electromagnetic fields and health warnings. It’s been signed by 247 scientists who have all published peer-reviewed research on electromagnetic fields.”

As studies slowly unfold, it is becoming clearer that we need to take mobile phone radiation seriously…