Brain Injury and Cell Phones
Brain Injury: To get one, just hold your Smartphone up to your ear.
There is a growing body of research showing that placing a smartphone up to your ear can indeed cause a brain injury, as well as alter brain function, and governing bodies are starting to take notice.
For many years, if you wanted to make a phone call, your options were limited to the land line in your home or the phone booth on the corner. These wired phones were designed with two components; a base, that did the actual transmitting, and a wired receiver comprised of a microphone and an earpiece. No radiation or electromagnetic field was emitted from the receiver, which was designed to be held directly up to your ear.
Then along came portable phones. The base was plugged into the wall, and you held a separate wireless receiver up to your ear. This receiver may or may not have emitted some radioactivity. And then, of course, came the cellular phones. Now you can unplug entirely, with the base, microphone and earpiece all in the palm of your hand.
Like most people, I can appreciate the convenience of a mobile phone, which has evolved from the brick-like prototypes of the 1980’s into the smartphones of today, which do everything except wash your kitchen floor. Everywhere you look, you see people holding these smartphone in their hands. And that is a good place for these phones to be. However, holding your smartphone up to your ear, storing it in your pants pocket, or tucking it into your bra, poses a dangerous cancer risk.
I never stopped to think about the health consequences of cell phones use until I went to training session in neurofeedback; specifically Neurofield, with Dr. Nicholas Dorgis, Ph.D. The piece of neurofeedback equipment we were working with produces a low frequency electromagnetic field (EMF) that is used to heal the brain. As Dr. Dorgis introduced the equipment, he emphasized the difference between the specific, targeted use of low frequency EMF, and the EMF emitted by equipment such as computers and, in particular, cell phones. Dr. Dorgis produced an EMF meter and measured the level of the electromagnetic field in the classroom prior to using the equipment. Then Dr. Dorgis held the EMF meter up to his cell phone and called it from another phone. We all watched the meter shoot up into the danger zone when the phone rang. This made a very strong impression on me. Dr. Dorgis stressed the importance of not holding the phone up to your head because of the dangerous levels of EMF it emitted. Ever since that demonstration, I have followed his advice; I use a Bluetooth device or an insulated wire connection.
Are Cell Phones Safe?
Recently, I purchased a new smartphone. It came with a brochure entitled Consumer Information about Radio Frequency Emissions and Responsible Driving. The top of the brochure reads: “Are Wireless Phones and Devices Safe?” It goes on to state that the World Health Organization 2010 findings show no increased health risk from radiofrequency (RF) energy, a form of electromagnetic radiation that is emitted by cell phones. In reality, this is 2015, and the cell phones being studied were flip phones, not the smartphones of today, which do unquestionably emit EMF. I proved this to my 23-year -old assistant, who had a habit of holding her phone to her ear; by doing the same thing Dr. Dorgis did, with the EMF meter I have in my office. She was shocked to see the needle jump into the red zone as her smartphone rang.
There is a growing body of research showing that placing a smartphone up to your ear can indeed cause brain tumors, as well as alter brain function. In 2011, the World Health Organization did finally urge limits on cell phone use, classifying them as a Class B carcinogen. In Italy, the Supreme Court recently reviewed several independent scientific studies and ruled that heavy cell phone use caused a man’s brain tumor — Innocente Marcolini used a mobile phone to make calls five or six hours per day for twelve years, and consequently developed a tumor on his trigeminal nerve, very close to the place where the phone came into contact with his head. And in May, the city of Berkeley, California passed a law requiring that health warnings be included with new cell phones, including a recommendation that the cell phone be held a minimum of 5 to 25 mm from the body and not be kept in a shirt or pants pocket while on. This the first such safety ordinance in the country.
The scientific evidence supporting these rulings is now more accessible than ever. Just last month, the New York Daily News reported on a new study that reviewed evidence from hundreds of other studies, and found that using your phone to make calls for 20 minutes a day over a period of five years increased cancer risk by 300%. The study suggests “minimizing the intensity and time of RFR exposures, and taking a precautionary approach towards wireless technologies in everyday human life.” A 2013 controlled study of 1498 brain tumors conducted in Sweden and published in Pathophysiology is also very convincing. This study found that mobile phone tripled incidence of malignant brain tumors in users who had used their smart phones to make calls for more than 25 years, and was even greater for those who had begun using their phones before they were 20 years old. And even if you don’t use your cell phone that heavily, using a cell phone for just 50 minutes actually alters brain function, increasing activity in the area closest to the phone antenna, with unknown consequences.
Brain tumors aren’t the only concern with cellular phones. There is evidence that carrying a cell phone in your bra, as lots of women do, can lead to breast cancer. The soft, fatty tissue of the breast is particularly susceptible to absorbing radiation, and there have been multiple cases of young women who habitually stored their cell phones in their bras developing cancerous tumors in the locations that their cell phones touched their bodies. This study published by six M.D.’s reports on four such cases, all concerning women under age 40 who carried their cell phones in their bras up to 10 hours a day for several years. None of the young women had any other risk factors for breast cancer. Dr. Oz featured one such 21-year old on his show, who kept her cell phone in her bra for four years prior to her diagnosis. And men have just as much to be concerned about. Keeping a cell phone in a pocket exposes the testicles to radiofrequency EMF waves and can damage capacity for reproduction. A 2014 meta-study of ten previous studies out of the University of Exeter was unequivocal in its findings that cell phone exposure negatively affected sperm count and quality.
And finally, please be aware that children are much more susceptible to radiation than adults. Children’s skulls are thinner, their brain tissues are more absorbent, and they will absorb several times the radiation than adults. Always limit cell phone exposure for children and pregnant women.
A study by Dr. Om Gandhi, University of Utah, demonstrates radiation penetrating the skull of a 5 year old child (75%), 10 year old (50%) and an adult (25%).
This doesn’t mean you have to give up your smartphone. Just choose to protect your body and brain by following these guidelines below.
Smartphone Danger: Three Ways to Protect Yourself
- Use an EMF protective case when carrying your phone. Do not carry your phone near your breasts or testicles. In your car, use hands-free options.
- Use a low EMF Bluetooth device.
- Best practice – use wired earbuds/headset with special EMF protection.
For further information on how to protect yourself and your family from cell phone radiation, check out these additional guidelines from the Environmental Health Trust.
- CBS News SF Bay Area, “Berkeley Passes Nation’s First Radiation Warning For New Cellphones,” May 13, 2015
- The Telegraph, “Mobile Phones Can Cause Brain Tumors, Court Rules,” Oct 19, 2012
- Cancer.org, “Cellular Phones”
- Wed MD, “Children Face Higher Health Risk From Cell Phones,” Roxanne Nelson
- Web MD, “Cell Phone Use Linked To Male Infertility,” Denise Mann, Sept 19, 2008
When it comes to smartphones, be smart!
There is a Way!™