Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Medical Of Cell Phone radiation

  1. Dec 19, 2014 #1
    A number of my relatives believe that radiation from cell phones is dangerous. After doing a bit of reading, I've found that the general scientific consensus is that this is not the case, and I myself don't see how low power, low frequency, non-ionising radiation can cause e.g. brain tumours - at least, not by directly causing stress to DNA.

    However, there are still a few papers which conclude that cell phone use can cause health problems, e.g. lots by Hardell, and a few by others as well.

    This article, though it does not seem the best source of information (by far), suggests that the radiation indirectly causes health problems by inciting harmful 'biochemical responses in the cell'.

    Is a nondirect effect of cell phone radiation on health plausible? Are long term effects plausible? (Long term exposure is also something they are fixated on.)

    They are still adamant on keeping phones at a distance, regardless of my (possibly poor) attempt to explain why (I think) the radiation is harmless. They call it a precaution, 'just in case something turns out to be harmful'.

    My secondary question is: What sort of effects would sleeping in the same room as a charging phone have? I doubt there is anything drastic, but a relative frowned upon it and claimed some sort of increased electric field and long term effects etc. which I don't buy; but, at the same time, I don't know enough to give a confident response.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 19, 2014 #2
    I think you're not going to get much out of these forums other than repetition of the general scientific consensus. If you search too hard, you'll eventually find some evidence to confirm whatever biases you might have had.
     
  4. Dec 19, 2014 #3

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Thread closed for Moderation. Wikipedia and magazine articles are not valid scientific references...
     
  5. Dec 19, 2014 #4

    Drakkith

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    To elaborate on Berkeman's post, it simply isn't always possible for us as moderators to verify the validity of public articles like wikipedia. Even if the wiki article references valid scientific publications, there's no guarantee the material is presented in the article in an accurate way. It's better to link the actual publication instead of the wiki article.
     
  6. Dec 19, 2014 #5

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Update -- we are working on finding some good relevant peer-reviewed studies about this topic. There is nothing wrong with discussing this topic as long as the discussion is evidence-based. Thank you for your patience.

    EDIT -- BTW, if anybody reading this thread has links to peer-reviewed studies about this topic, please send them to me and we will include them.
     
  7. Dec 19, 2014 #6

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

  8. Dec 19, 2014 #7

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Here are more studies.

    http://www.fda.gov/Radiation-Emitti...nessandEntertainment/CellPhones/ucm116282.htm

     
  9. Dec 19, 2014 #8

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    This states
     
  10. Dec 19, 2014 #9

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Hey Evo, I don't think the SEER/NCI link made it into your great post...?
     
  11. Dec 19, 2014 #10

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    It's in the FDA.gov link.
     
  12. Dec 23, 2014 #11

    NascentOxygen

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    A Sydney neurosurgeon who has a reputation for accepting cases of advanced brain tumors that no other surgeon will touch has for years been warning that he sees a disproportionate number of certain tumors on that side of the head where heavy users of mobile phones usually hold their device.

    He is on a team who reviewed long term studies:

    http://www.researchgate.net/publication/24241050_Cell_phones_and_brain_tumors_a_review_including_the_long-term_epidemiologic_data [Broken]

    click on "full text"

    Summary: heavy mobile use can double the risk of certain tumors
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  13. Dec 23, 2014 #12

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    So, throughout history, has there been a prevailing side of the head for brain tumors, or did that change in the past 10 years? Do people consistently hold their phone on the same side of their head?
     
  14. Dec 24, 2014 #13

    NascentOxygen

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Most users consistently favour one side, apparently.
     
  15. Dec 26, 2014 #14
    I'm certainly not convinced that cell phone use causes cancer, but I am very suspicious of this articles characterization of cell phone emissions as "low level RF".
    "Whereas high levels of RF can produce health effects (by heating tissue), exposure to low level RF that does not produce heating effects causes no known adverse health effects."

    Because of the proximity to the head, the heating effects cannot be discounted as biologically insignificant. Consider this easy-to-replicate experiment:
    [hoax video deleted]

    This article states: "The only known biological effect of radiofrequency energy is heating. The ability of microwave ovens to heat food is one example of this effect of radiofrequency energy. Radiofrequency exposure from cell phone use does cause heating; however, it is not sufficient to measurably increase body temperature.".
    I'm not saying that the article as a whole is not valuable. But this remark is quite off the wall. Human body temperature is regulated. You could burn an ear off without raising body temperature at all. (I hope I don't need to cite a reference for that.)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2014
  16. Dec 26, 2014 #15

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Scott, you have to remember that where extremely large doses of something can harm or kill, small doses of the same thing are harmless. People worried about or trying to cause undue panic use the tactic of misleading people about the amount of radiation. The studies show that the existing levels aren't harmful.
     
  17. Dec 26, 2014 #16

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    C'mon, you have to put more thought into the issue than that. That "experiment" is an obvious hoax. Have you never popped popcorn before? Do you have no idea how much wattage it takes? If all of those phones are operating at peak output, they are still more than a hundred times too weak to pop the popcorn -- not counting the fact that they are not in an enclosure to concentrate the radiation, which probably puts them another one or two orders of magnitude too weak.
     
  18. Dec 26, 2014 #17
    You're right. I was fooled. The maximum output per cell phone is half a watt - but not at the best frequency for heating water.

    If you put a 0.41 watt Christmas mini-light bulb against your head (the kind that are normally in strings of 50 or 100) - you would not absorb the full 0.41 watts - but it could feel warm. You might be absorbing a similar amount with a cell phone - but it would not be heating just the surface of the skin and it would not be as concentrated.

    If you wanted to heat your ear more effectively, you should wear an earmuff.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Of Cell Phone radiation
  1. Cell (Killing) Phone (Replies: 12)

  2. Cell phones: Tumor risk? (Replies: 43)

Loading...