Cell Phones May Affect Your Brain

by updated 2011/03/06

Photo by Josh Semans

The question of whether cell phone use can cause brain cancer has been written about many times here.  There seems to be no definitive answer; some people claim no study shows absolute proof of any danger, other people claim that the evidence is very direct, even without definitive studies.  This push and pull has been going on for years.  Meanwhile, according to this list of cell phone use by country, there are almost 8 cell phones for every 10 people in the world.  In the U.S. there are over 9 cell phones for every 10 people!

Now along comes a study that claims that cell phones do indeed change brain metabolism.  One of the researchers came right out and said using a cell phone at your ear is “not really safe.”  Another of the researchers said the study proved that our brains are “sensitive to the electromagnetic radiation that is emitted from cell phones”.  The study compared phones strapped to the head while off, against phones strapped to the head while receiving a 50 minute recorded message.  Even the researchers felt the study probably underestimated the consequences typical cell phone use had.  The reason was that the 50 minute exposure was only for an incoming message.  Normally at least 1/2 of cell phone use involves you talking and cell phones emit more radiation when transmitting your voice than they do when receiving.

Brain Changes While Using Cell Phones

Credit: JAMA, Feb. 23, 2011, Vol. 305, p. 808 © 2011 AMA

The study authors were very careful to say that this does not prove cell phones can increase cancer risk or even have any adverse health consequences at all.  I don’t know how it sounds to you, but to me it is another piece of evidence telling us to be careful.  For my part, I try to limit my “phone to my ear” time as much as possible.  Even though some claim blue tooth itself has dangers, I use speaker phone or blue tooth as much as possible, figuring that has to be better than pressing it to my ear.  I also try not to carry my phone in my pocket.  Even when not on a call the phone is doing some communication with the cell company receivers and transmitters.  If you always carry your cell phone in your right pants or shirt pocket, do the math and see why it might not be a good idea.  Say 6 hours a day times 6 days a week and you have 1,872 hours per year of EMF exposure to that part of your body.

Following this post is a poll asking how concerned you are about this mounting evidence.  If yu have the time to answer and send the link to friends asking them to answer it would be very appreciated.  If we can get 50 or more poll replies from people other than those searching for this information, this may show the level of concern the average person has.  If you can expand on your poll answer in a comment that would be great also. Thanks!

Are you concerned about the possible dangers of cell phone use?

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Will Sig
1 Binky

As with most things, it’s probably wise to limit your exposure to such things. You do have to wonder about all the electromagnetic radiation we’re exposed to. Most of it is very low energy, but there’s so much of it out there. . .
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2 Anna

I only have cell phone for emergency usage, so I use very little. I even don’t like the hands free phones at home, usually like to use the land line. With time my ear gets overheated – and that is when someone keeps me on the phone for a very long time, because I don’t like talking on the phone at all.

Excellent info Will as always, and I like the picture, lol, we better limit usage from them too.
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3 Will

Really Anna? Is it a land line with a cord thing that goes into the wall. I remember those. ;-)

It is a cute photo. Even though it is not mine I loved it. Fortunately it was available for use with the credit.

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4 Anna

Yes, Will you got it right, lol, and its long so we get to stretch it as much as possible. For security reason, when we use banking, they actually ask us to switch to land line. But then even land line isn’t that safe, once we got crossed lines, and we heard our neighbor ordering pizza conversation, lol. Anna :)
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5 Will

Funny Anna! Sounds like a story right out of the 1980’s! OR 70’S.

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6 Tony McGurk

Great post Will. I don’t talk directly into my phone very often. I use a bluetooth headset for work when I’m doing deliveries as I often get calls from the office when I am driving & also need to ring customers at times.

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7 Tony

Great post Will. I don’t talk directly into my phone very often. I use a bluetooth headset for work when I’m doing deliveries as I often get calls from the office when I am driving & also need to ring customers at times.
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8 Will

I really try to talk on mine as little as possible. I do always have it on me or nearby though. I am caught by all things technical and these devices are no exception. Between text messaging, email, geocaching, etc, mine gets used less as a phone than for other things.

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9 CHK

Don’t you think that after all these years of cell phone use in the world as you linked to that if there was really any danger there would be thousands of cases of brain cancer cases caused by this use!

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10 Will

Hi CHK – This study did not look at cancer only metabolic changes in the brain. I guess you could make the connection, but probably only speculation. There are lots of brain cancer case every year in the world and according to an article published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition the number is rising every year.

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11 JR

I don’t know CHK but I think your sentence needs a comma or a period or something!

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12 Hillary

I have tried to stay away from all of this, I put it in the same box as hey eggs are bad…no wait they are good. well which is it.
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