Mobile Phones Health Hazards, Risks and Dangers

How much time do you spend on your cell phone? Do you know the mobile phones health hazards and risks caused because they keep on emitting radio waves as long as they are switched on? Since the very basis of cellphones is radio signals that carry voice, you are in constant exposure to these radio waves as long as you keep the cell phone near your body. The exposure increases manifold when you are talking about it.

Cooking The Brain: The Evil In Mobile Phones & Cellphone Towers

Though there are few pointers that link cell phone usage to diseases such as cancer, the dangers of using mobile phones still exist. This article examines some studies that link usage of cellphones to different diseases and dangers. Before studying cell phone dangers, let us explore the hazards of living in areas having cell phone towers.

Cell Phone Towers: What Could Be The Exact Problem?

It has not yet been completely established that cell phones are really a danger but researchers are exploring the issue, and some have found strong links that say living in an area with cell phone towers with high frequency can cause cancer. According to a study conducted by Indian Thermal Analysis Society (ITAS), three cancer cases were found in the same building that lies opposite to a cell phone tower. All these three cases belong to Usha Kiran Apartments opposite to cellphone tower built on Vijay Apartments (Carmicheal Road, Mumbai, India). A prominent Indian daily Mid-day had carried an article on the issue of Usha Kiran Apartment residents suffering due to mobile towers.

Based on different case studies, the ITAS concluded that people living within 50 to 300-meter radius of cell phone towers are at higher risk of diseases due to electromagnetic radiation. This conclusion derives from the fact that in India, acceptable standard of radiation is 9.2Watt per square meter. For other countries, the “danger zone” is different – based on their acceptable standard of radiation. For the US, it is 580 – 1000 Micro-Watts per square centimeter. This translates that people living within 2 to 2.5 miles in the radius of cell phone towers are at risk of health hazards.

Mobile Phones Health Hazards


In yet another incident, a resident of New Delhi (India) recently filed a petition to ban cellphone companies from erecting any cell phone towers within 50 meters of schools, hospitals, and residential areas. According to him, his son got cancer due to a cell phone tower that was erected on his house. He says within a year of the tower being installed, everyone in his family gained weight and started suffering from sleeping problems. This story was also covered in the Time of India.

In a study conducted by Building Biology Institute of Germany, they state that anything above 10 Micro-Watt per square meters is a matter of concern as it will affect the biological cells in all kinds of lives – plants, animals, and humans. For towers that emit more than 10 microwatts per square centimeter, the study classifies exposure concerns as severe.

Scientists and researchers blame the electromagnetic radiation from radio waves as the agents that increase the risk of cancer in people using cell phones – especially in children. In the case of cell phone towers, people living in nearby areas are constantly exposed to high electromagnetic radiation. Since electromagnetic radiation is responsible for alterations in the functioning of biologic cells and tissues, these people are at a greater risk of acquiring radiation diseases.

Mobile phones health hazards

Among the major problems found in people living near cellphone towers are:

  1. Cancers,
  2. Tumors, in particular, Gliomas
  3. Dry Eye,
  4. Muscle problems
  5. Damage to the brain – depending upon how many cell phone companies are using a particular cell phone tower. ITAS claims that the more number of cellphone companies sharing a single tower, the greater the hazards of cell phone towers.

Read: Is Bluetooth Radiation harmful or safe?

Specific Absorption Rate

The specific absorption rate – or SAR as it is known – refers to the rate of electromagnetic energy that is absorbed by the human body when using cell phones and other devices emitting radio waves. It is measured in Watts per Kg of human tissue. If the SAR limit of cell phones is 1.6W/Kg (as in the US), the total time that a person can use cellphones is maximum 6 minutes. Given an error margin of 3, the total time a person can use cellphones translates to only 20 minutes per day.

While some countries have now made it mandatory to display the SAR value of cell phones on their handsets, others have not yet woken up to the dangers of using cellphones. Wikipedia has some more information on SAR including the equation to calculate SAR.

Read: How to protect yourself from Laptop radiation.

Cellphones – What Are The Dangers?

According to National Cancer Institute (USA), there are two types of electromagnetic radiations – ionizing and non-ionizing. The first type is found in X-Rays etc, and it has been proved that they cause severe diseases in people who are exposed to such emissions. Cellphones emit non-ionizing radiations that are picked up by biological cells and tissues that are directly in contact with cellphones – hands and ears. The National Cancer Institute says there is no proof that cellphones can actually increase the risk of cancer but still, it can increase the temperature of body cells in contact with cellphones.

In another study by Dr. Girish of Indian Thermal Analysis Society, a human body be safely kept in a microwave oven of 700-1000W for only 19 minutes. This means that people can carry on a cell phone conversation only for 19 minutes at a time without harming themselves.

It has also been found by studying rats that prolonged exposure to electromagnetic radiation can lead to severe brain damage. People using cellphones to a particular brain side have more risk of damaging that side of the brain – leading to complex disorders that may or may not be reversible.

Mobile Phones Health risks

Brain In Right Image Is Damaged

According to Dr. Keith Black, Chairman of Neurology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles:

What microwave radiation does in most simplistic terms is similar to what happens to food in microwaves, essentially cooking the brain. So in addition to leading to a development of cancer and tumors, there could be a whole host of other effects like cognitive memory function, since the memory temporal lobes are where we hold our cell phones.

Due to the changes in electrical activities of brain, people can suffer from the following problems:

  1. Seizures
  2. Paralysis
  3. Stroke
  4. Psychosis
  5. Cardiovascular problems

Among other major problems that have been linked to excessive cell phone usage are:

  1. Damaged blood vessels that translate to loss of protection to brain
  2. Cancer
  3. Brain Tumor, esp Gliomas
  4. DNA damage – resulting in tumors and cancers
  5. Sleep disorders
  6. Irreversible fertility
  7. Skin problems – caused mainly by overheating of cells and include rashes, sores, and even skin tumors
  8. Hearing loss due to overheating of ear drums
  9. Damage to red blood cells – slowing down blood circulation and thereby exposure to other diseases



Read: List of cellphones with the highest and lowest emissions.

Dangers of Using Cellphones in Children

Children are at a greater risk of procuring diseases from the excess usage of cell phones because their skull is thin compared to adults. Children using cell phones beyond limits run into a major risk of procuring brain damage – due to increased heating of brain cells – other than risking loss in hearing and vision.

We may have started using mobile phones later in life, but these days children right from the age of 10 and 12 want a mobile phone and have one. Their usage is uncontrolled. No one wants to use a landline anymore… What will happen after 20 and 30 years? Only time will tell. We can only hope that it is not a time-bomb which will explode when today’s children are 50 and 60 years old …

The World Health Organization said in May 2011 that mobile phones might cause Cancer and other health hazards and urged phone users “to limit their use and take pragmatic measures to reduce exposure to mobiles”. It concluded that mobile use is “possibly carcinogenic to humans’, a term that places mobiles in the middle of the rating scale that contains 5 levels of carcinogens, and ranked mobiles just below things definitely known to cause Cancer such as smoking!

Also read: Health problems caused by Smartphones overuse.

Mobile phones Safety advice:

  1. For talking, keep your cell phone away from the body.
  2. Use some hands-free device such as earphones or Bluetooth while communicating.
  3. Do not keep cell phones on the body while talking.
  4. Use more of landline phones as they use analog signals.
  5. Try texting as an alternative to talking on cell phones.
  6. Try not to talk on the mobile phone for more than 15 minutes at a time.

Go here to find out if you are you are addicted to your phone.

Images in this story are part of the study conducted by the Indian Thermal Analysis Society.

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Arun Kumar is a Microsoft MVP alumnus, obsessed with technology, especially the Internet. He deals with the multimedia content needs of training and corporate houses. Follow him on Twitter @PowercutIN


  1. In the late 1980s, NEC was one of the leaders in making portable cell phones that were actually portable; and looked good; and worked. This photo…

    SEE |

    …shows the product line from the early mid-80’s on the right, through the early mid-90s on the left. The one I used, starting in the late-mid-80s, through maybe ’91 or so is the third-from-the-right: the NEC P300 (called the P3 outside the US).

    SEE |

    It was actually remarkably cool, for its time. That antenna was a flip-up, hinged at what is the back-right in that photo; it flipped-down, 90 degrees. In most places, it didn’t really even need to be flipped-up.

    After using it for several years, then moving-on to another phone, then another (neither of them NEC)…

    …sometime in the late 1990s I remember reading an article about my very NEC P300 phone having allegedly given several people brain tumors on whichever side of their heads they used the phone the most. There were apparently several lawsuits filed, all related to the P300.

    Fortunately, for me, I had made many friends who were (and many of them still are) radiologists when I was working at a large professional association of them in the late ’80s; and so I was able to call one, and he had me come in, pretty much on the spot, and get a scan, no-charge/off-the-books, to see if I had anything to worry about. He read it on ths spot, right in front of me. It was negative for any kind of tumor, or anything else bad, for that matter… even on the side on which I had used the P300 the most.

    Later, when I looked more closely at the articles about it, I learned that those who got tumors used their P300s about 8 times more, each month, than I had ever used mine. I’m not sure I could have even afforded the number of minutes, per month, that at least one of them (a physician, as it happend) had used. So, clearly, the amount of use had a real bearing on things. So, too, according to my radiologist friend, do a number of other factors.

    “Any group of people,” he said, “can get the exact same small amounts of radiation, over the exact same amount of time, and only a minority of them will actually develop any kind of cancer from it; and each of their cancers will likely be nearly unique. Everyone’s different, and so everyone’s reaction to radiation is different… that is, assuming very small doses over prolonged periods.” He added, “If they all receive the same single-blast overdoses, then that’s different: they’ll all likely develop exactly the same burns, and organ failures, and deaths… even times of deaths.”

    Today’s cell phones are a gabazillion times more safe, though, than that old P300… or, really, any phones from that era. While the type and amount of damage is now fairly well known…

    SEE |

    …the fact is that it takes, as a practical matter, a whole lot more exposure than most of us ever even come close to experiencing for there to be any real problems. That said, many teenagers have their phones almost literally glued to their heads, so who knows what will be the ultimate outcome for them.

    Interesting article. Thanks.

    Gregg L. DesElms
    Napa, California USA
    gregg at greggdeselms dot com

    Veritas nihil veretur nisi abscondi.
    Veritas nimium altercando amittitur.

  2. Rita Lynn

    Thank you for this article. I’m doing research on EMR by WiFi because it is worse than asbestos and shouldn’t be used in schools. When do we realize that we kill ourselfs? There is a need for Wifi routers whith a switch to reduce radation. When we don’t need it, turn it of.

  3. “…many teenagers have their phones almost literally glued to their heads, so who knows what will be the ultimate outcome for them…” True, that should scare us!

  4. We will probably realize this, only after the effects of this are seen on a large scale probably in the next generation…Hope its not too late then.

  5. Anyone born before the industrial revolution, but still alive during it; and, especially, anyone born since the beginning of the industrial revolution, has had RF and EM passing through them since the moment of their conception… all of our conceptions. We are not, I suspect, headed for any kind of years-from-now realization that our cell phones hurt us any more, or any differently, than all the other waves that pass through us every moment of every day.

    It all just contributes to the increase in cancer (and numerous other things), just generally, that the world has seen since not just RF an d EM, but all manner of chemicals and other non-organic products entered our lives…

    …and so will quite likely not even be noticed among all the other stuff that’s been harming us for years. Trust me when I tell you that the EM and RF from more recent devices pales by comparison with some of the crap that’s been assaulting our bodies — especially if we grew-up and/or now live near heavy industry — since the moment any of us showed-up on this planet. And they’ll all still be assaulting us until we die. Whether any of it makes us die sooner, or more horribly, than if they weren’t assulting us… who knows. People live longer, today, than ever before; and many scientists believe that much of what ails us in our old age is as natural as life, itself, and happens precisely BECAUSE we’re all living longer than ever. Many generations before us live such short lives that typical old-age maladies never had a chance to mainfest.

    Worrying too terribly much about any of this is just a huge waste of time. Even if we removed every non-organic thing from our lives; even if we removed all sources of EM and RF from our lives…

    …terrestrial microwave telecom signals, for example, just to mention one thing — and far worse — will continue to pass through us and those we love even as we sleep. There’s nothing we can do about it, and so the best course of action is to do the best and healthiest things we can for ourselves and our loved ones, see a physician regularly, tell him/her about any and all syptoms (without becoming a hypochondriac, of course)…

    …and living every day as if it were our last, and with profound gratefulness. Life’s just too short to do it any other way.

    Gregg L. DesElms
    Napa, California USA
    gregg at greggdeselms dot com

    Veritas nihil veretur nisi abscondi.
    Veritas nimium altercando amittitur.

  6. Michael Kenward

    “Use some hands-free device such as earphones or Bluetooth while communicating.”

    Er, Bluetooth is also radio. Bound to fry your brain.

  7. Arun Kumar

    True 🙂
    I guess we have to live with the fact that we have to deal with many radio waves of different frequencies everyday: cellular waves, FM, GPS and more.
    A wired headset instead of Bluetooth would be more beneficial but that too will provide a limited protection as the different waves would touch/cross our body anyway.
    I hope they manufacture electronics according to the stipulated “safe frequencies” so that extent of damage is minimal.

  8. Joe

    how about wifi waves?

  9. Arun Kumar

    It all depends upon the intensity of the radio waves. Normally, the intensity of waves is very high near devices (and towers, in cellular phones’ case). Our body can withstand some of the intensity but if it goes up and beyond the capability, it will create problems.
    For wifi, I think the waves are stronger near router and repeaters. I found this article here that discusses wifi:

    Also, please note that science has problem with almost everything, including milk.

  10. Dask

    Hi, wifi waves are from some industrial routers (as in schools) are actually far worse. We completed our own measurements when there was only one computer on and found it higher than my mobile phone on a call. This was in the middle of the room and the router was approx 9 meters away in the hall. This radiation hits the entire body not just the head for long periods of time. In schools, up to 1200 hrs per year. This can’t be good for our children. This type of radiation was classed as 2b possible carcinogen to humans in 2011 by WHO yet no telecommunications company has had to factor this into how they expose us to it. Why not? Protect yourselves by switching to cabled internet, turn your mobile/internet data off on your phone (as this pulses constantly), use corded home phones as DECT phones emit even higher readouts continuously while not even in use and stand well away from your microwave oven if its on – measurements taken 3 meters from the 7 different ovens we measured were of concern. Check out Dr Martin Blank on Youtube or Dr Magda Havas’ website for some excellent information and peer reviewed studies 🙂 THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR POSTING THIS ARTICLE! WELL DONE!

  11. Arun Kumar

    Hi. Thank you for sharing the WiFi threats. And for the leads you provided. Thanks.

  12. Jim Top

    this website=good

  13. Sean Alexander

    This website is about as good as Natural News and Mercola.
    Anecdotes and scaremongering are poor replacement for science.

  14. Sean Alexander

    The level of pseudoscience in this article is disappointing, but not surprising. This is a classic goof: “In another study by Dr. Girish of Indian Thermal Analysis Society, a human body be safely kept in a microwave oven of 700-1000W for only 19 minutes. This means that people can carry on a cell phone conversation only for 19 minutes at a time without harming themselves.”

    I’d recommend that people go to a more credible website if they want to find out something closer to the truth. This website, however, is perfect if you are just looking to satisfy your confirmation bias.

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