Risks to health and well-being from radio-frequency radiation emitted by cell phones and other wireless devices

Anthony B. Miller, Margaret E. Sears, L. Lloyd Morgan, Devra L. Davis, Lennart Hardell, Mark Oremus, Colin L. Soskolne

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

2 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Radiation exposure has long been a concern for the public, policy makers, and health researchers. Beginning with radar during World War II, human exposure to radio-frequency radiation1 (RFR) technologies has grown substantially over time. In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reviewed the published literature and categorized RFR as a “possible” (Group 2B) human carcinogen. A broad range of adverse human health effects associated with RFR have been reported since the IARC review. In addition, three large-scale carcinogenicity studies in rodents exposed to levels of RFR that mimic lifetime human exposures have shown significantly increased rates of Schwannomas and malignant gliomas, as well as chromosomal DNA damage. Of particular concern are the effects of RFR exposure on the developing brain in children. Compared with an adult male, a cell phone held against the head of a child exposes deeper brain structures to greater radiation doses per unit volume, and the young, thin skull’s bone marrow absorbs a roughly 10-fold higher local dose. Experimental and observational studies also suggest that men who keep cell phones in their trouser pockets have significantly lower sperm counts and significantly impaired sperm motility and morphology, including mitochondrial DNA damage. Based on the accumulated evidence, we recommend that IARC re-evaluate its 2011 classification of the human carcinogenicity of RFR, and that WHO complete a systematic review of multiple other health effects such as sperm damage. In the interim, current knowledge provides justification for governments, public health authorities, and physicians/allied health professionals to warn the population that having a cell phone next to the body is harmful, and to support measures to reduce all exposures to RFR.

Original languageEnglish
Article number223
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalFrontiers in Public Health
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2019

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Cell Phones
Radio
Radiation
Equipment and Supplies
International Agencies
Health
DNA Damage
Public Health
Research
Radar
Allied Health Personnel
Neoplasms
World War II
Sperm Count
Sperm Motility
Neurilemmoma
Brain
Public Policy
Administrative Personnel
Mitochondrial DNA

Cite this

Miller, A. B., Sears, M. E., Morgan, L. L., Davis, D. L., Hardell, L., Oremus, M., & Soskolne, C. L. (2019). Risks to health and well-being from radio-frequency radiation emitted by cell phones and other wireless devices. Frontiers in Public Health, 7, 1-10. [223]. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2019.00223
Miller, Anthony B. ; Sears, Margaret E. ; Morgan, L. Lloyd ; Davis, Devra L. ; Hardell, Lennart ; Oremus, Mark ; Soskolne, Colin L. / Risks to health and well-being from radio-frequency radiation emitted by cell phones and other wireless devices. In: Frontiers in Public Health. 2019 ; Vol. 7. pp. 1-10.
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abstract = "Radiation exposure has long been a concern for the public, policy makers, and health researchers. Beginning with radar during World War II, human exposure to radio-frequency radiation1 (RFR) technologies has grown substantially over time. In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reviewed the published literature and categorized RFR as a “possible” (Group 2B) human carcinogen. A broad range of adverse human health effects associated with RFR have been reported since the IARC review. In addition, three large-scale carcinogenicity studies in rodents exposed to levels of RFR that mimic lifetime human exposures have shown significantly increased rates of Schwannomas and malignant gliomas, as well as chromosomal DNA damage. Of particular concern are the effects of RFR exposure on the developing brain in children. Compared with an adult male, a cell phone held against the head of a child exposes deeper brain structures to greater radiation doses per unit volume, and the young, thin skull’s bone marrow absorbs a roughly 10-fold higher local dose. Experimental and observational studies also suggest that men who keep cell phones in their trouser pockets have significantly lower sperm counts and significantly impaired sperm motility and morphology, including mitochondrial DNA damage. Based on the accumulated evidence, we recommend that IARC re-evaluate its 2011 classification of the human carcinogenicity of RFR, and that WHO complete a systematic review of multiple other health effects such as sperm damage. In the interim, current knowledge provides justification for governments, public health authorities, and physicians/allied health professionals to warn the population that having a cell phone next to the body is harmful, and to support measures to reduce all exposures to RFR.",
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Miller, AB, Sears, ME, Morgan, LL, Davis, DL, Hardell, L, Oremus, M & Soskolne, CL 2019, 'Risks to health and well-being from radio-frequency radiation emitted by cell phones and other wireless devices', Frontiers in Public Health, vol. 7, 223, pp. 1-10. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2019.00223

Risks to health and well-being from radio-frequency radiation emitted by cell phones and other wireless devices. / Miller, Anthony B.; Sears, Margaret E.; Morgan, L. Lloyd; Davis, Devra L.; Hardell, Lennart; Oremus, Mark; Soskolne, Colin L.

In: Frontiers in Public Health, Vol. 7, 223, 13.08.2019, p. 1-10.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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T1 - Risks to health and well-being from radio-frequency radiation emitted by cell phones and other wireless devices

AU - Miller, Anthony B.

AU - Sears, Margaret E.

AU - Morgan, L. Lloyd

AU - Davis, Devra L.

AU - Hardell, Lennart

AU - Oremus, Mark

AU - Soskolne, Colin L.

PY - 2019/8/13

Y1 - 2019/8/13

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AB - Radiation exposure has long been a concern for the public, policy makers, and health researchers. Beginning with radar during World War II, human exposure to radio-frequency radiation1 (RFR) technologies has grown substantially over time. In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reviewed the published literature and categorized RFR as a “possible” (Group 2B) human carcinogen. A broad range of adverse human health effects associated with RFR have been reported since the IARC review. In addition, three large-scale carcinogenicity studies in rodents exposed to levels of RFR that mimic lifetime human exposures have shown significantly increased rates of Schwannomas and malignant gliomas, as well as chromosomal DNA damage. Of particular concern are the effects of RFR exposure on the developing brain in children. Compared with an adult male, a cell phone held against the head of a child exposes deeper brain structures to greater radiation doses per unit volume, and the young, thin skull’s bone marrow absorbs a roughly 10-fold higher local dose. Experimental and observational studies also suggest that men who keep cell phones in their trouser pockets have significantly lower sperm counts and significantly impaired sperm motility and morphology, including mitochondrial DNA damage. Based on the accumulated evidence, we recommend that IARC re-evaluate its 2011 classification of the human carcinogenicity of RFR, and that WHO complete a systematic review of multiple other health effects such as sperm damage. In the interim, current knowledge provides justification for governments, public health authorities, and physicians/allied health professionals to warn the population that having a cell phone next to the body is harmful, and to support measures to reduce all exposures to RFR.

KW - Acoustic neuroma

KW - Brain cancer

KW - Child development

KW - Electromagnetic hypersensitivity

KW - Glioma

KW - Non-cancer outcomes

KW - Policy recommendations

KW - Radiofrequency fields

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JF - Frontiers in Public Health

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