Blog 7: Cell Phones Creating Risk For Cancer?

Cancer risks related to low-level RF/MW exposures, including cellphones

Does Continuous Use of Cell Phones Cause Brain Cancer?



In recent discussions of cell phone radiation, a controversial issue has been brought up about whether or not the radiation from the cell phone causes health risks to the human brain. On one hand, some argue that radiation has no effect on the brain, not even changing the formation of tumor cells that are already formed on some brains. From this perspective, the theory was tested and recorded, showing that nothing did appear to happen to the brain after short periods of radiation exposure. But was the brain exposed long enough? On the other hand, however, others argue that holding the cell phone to the ear to talk rather than talking on speaker phone or texting, can cause radiation to stream right into the brain, leading to cancerous tumors, especially in children or adolescents, due to thinner skulls and brains that are still developing.

Based on my research, which was mainly conducted using scholarly medical databases, this issue is of interest to doctors or people in the medical field. My own view is that cell phones have not been in this world long enough to have enough valid information on this subject. The effects from cell phones might start to appear in a few years when the millennials become elders, who use the cell phones for hours at a time, on a daily basis. Though I concede that there have been test results showing that radiation does not affect the brain in any way, I still maintain that the world possibly hasn’t given the study enough time for the radiation to show its true effects. For example, doctors do not know the cause of brain cancer. It is still in the process of being researched. The issue is important because with more and more humans becoming attached to their cell phones, continuous use might lead to health risks referring to the brain in the future.

Listed below are some academic articles that I have used to research the question: Does continuous use of cell phones cause brain cancer?

Liu, Y., Li, G., Fu, X., Xue, J., Ji, S., Zhang, Z., . . . Li, A. (2015). Exposure to 3G mobile phone signals does not affect the biological features of brain tumor cells. BMC Public Health, 15(1).

In the article Exposure to 3G mobile phone signals does not affect the biological features of brain tumor cells, published in 2015, in the Bio Med Central Journal, authors Yu-xiao Liul, Guo-qing Li, Xiang-ping Fu1, et al., are investigating whether or not mobile phones could make changes in human tumor cells, acting as a tumor promoting agent. The authors start out the article by stating that with the increase in cell phone use there has been an uprising concern about the development of brain tumors in the users. As the article continues into more detail, steps are made to test the effects on the brain from 1950-MHz (which is radiofrequency electromagnetic fields) TD-SCDMA exposure. The authors had three specific things that they were testing. The first was how 1950-MHz TD-SCDMA exposure affected the biological features of glioblastoma cells in vitro. The authors’ second test is how that type of exposure affects gene expression and profiles. Lastly the authors tested to see if EMF changed the formation of a tumor cell. They observed the cells for long periods of time and documented the results from the tests. The authors finish the article by explaining that all of the exposure to the brain tumors made no changes to the cells and had no effect on the brain in the 48 hours that it was being tested.


Roseburg, S. (2013). Cellphones and Children: Following the precautionary road. Continuing Nursing Education, 1-8. Retrieved from

In the article Cell phones and Children: Following the precautionary road, author Suzanne Roseburg begins by explaining that technology has developed rapidly in the recent years and with that advancement came more and more cell phone subscriptions. She suggests that there was about a 1.3 billion increase in mobile subscriptions and with that comes concerns about radiofrequency. Roseburg claims that a lot of the researchers studying this topic are more concerned about children, due to them having thinner skulls and brains that aren’t finished developing. Then the author makes the point that the Food and Drug Administration, Government Accountability Office, and National Institutes of Health have all been studying this questionable topic and have all come to similar conclusions. In addition the author claims that due to the fact that children and adolescents brains are still being developed, there could be potential effects being made to the way connections are being formed in the brain, but it still remains unknown. As time goes on more and more evidence will begin to emerge. In the article, the author brought up a study where they had someone place one phone on each ear and they tested the brain for glucose production. They then had the person talk on one of the phones and collected that glucose data while having a conversation. The author finishes the study by stating the fact that holding the phone to your ear and talking on it causes your brain to create more glucose, rather than just holding a silent phone to the ear. This shows that radiation could possibly be the cause to why there was more cell activity in the brain during the second part of the test. She concludes the article by claiming that it is still unknown whether or not radiation from the cell phone can cause cancer in the brain because there is lack of information and the researchers need to determine the risk over a longer period of time.


Szmigielski, S. (2013). Cancer risks related to low-level RF/MW exposures, including cell phones. Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, 32(3), 273-280.

Cancer risks related to low-level RF/MW exposures, including cellphones, is an academic journal article, written by Stanislaw Szinigielski, in September 2011. He starts out the article by saying that radiofrequency (RF) and microwave (MW) radiations have been around for years. He continues by stating that the increase in cell phone use has brought attention to the possible health risks cause by the constant radiation exposure. The author claims that in 2011, experts from the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon believe that RF/MF radiations could possibly be carcinogenic to humans, and should be considered harmful. The rapidly increasing use of cellular phones brought recent attention to the possible health risks of RF/MW exposures. In 2011, a group of international experts organized by IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon) concluded that RF/MW radiations should be listed as a possible carcinogen for humans. Then the author makes the point that three studies have been done and concluded that by using a cell phone for more than ten years is linked to the risk of developing a brain tumor. Although he says cell phones could be linked to brain tumors, the studies published were not clear and did not give a definite answer to whether or not there was an increase in the risk of cancer. The author concludes by mentioning that the assumptions made from the studies are based on a lack of knowledge, and the fact that brain cancer rates have remained the same, rather than increasing significantly, show that radiation exposure is still a mystery. The author still advices frequent users to be cautious until further research has come out about the true risks of cell phones.


The Cellphone Study: A respected agency calls them ‘possibly carcinogenic,’ but the evidence is limited. (2011). New York Times, 160(55424), 28. Retrieved from

In the academic journal article called The Cellphone Study: A respected agency calls them ‘possibly carcinogenic,’ but the evidence is limited, the author is unknown. The article was found in the New York Times. According to this mysterious author, Cellphone users have every right to be confused. He says that in 2010 there was a study done in 13 countries that found no obvious evidence that radiation exposure from cell phones cause cancer. He then goes on by stating that the International Agency for Research on Cancer, “declared that the radiation is possibly carcinogenic to humans,” which should come to people as a concern. He goes on by stating that the agency released this big announcement to the press before releasing a detailed written study with the list of concerns from the cell phone radiation, and will allow scientists to have the first chance to look at the theory and evaluate it. The author goes on to say that the World Health Organization constructed its findings on limited evidence but claimed that people who use cell phones more often than not, have a higher risk of a brain tumor called glioma to emerge. To conclude the author mentions that cell phones were categorized as possible carcinogens and are still under investigation


Walsh, B. (2011, July 13). Mobile Alert. Retrieved from

Mobile Alert is an academic journal article, written by Bryan Walsh. The article was dated back to July 13th, 2011, but gives similar information found in more recent articles. Walsh discusses two sides of an argument based on whether or not cell phones lead to brain cancer. The author acknowledges that on one hand, the Federal Communications Commission, Food and Drug Administration, and the cell phone industry all argue that cell phones are safe to use. On the other hand Walsh mentions that the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), classified cell phone radiation exposure as “possibly carcinogenic to humans,” which completely conflicts with what the other groups reported. The author then states that on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) website, they have a section labeled Electromagnetic Fields and Public Health: Mobile Phones. He points out that in that section of the website it reads, “To date, no adverse health effects have been established for mobile phone use,” leaving those two key words for researchers to question; to date. Walsh explains that there is no clear explanation that explains whether or not radiation causes brain tumors. He backs that up by saying the brain cancer rates have not risen in the past two decades. Walsh writes that the evidence for both sides of the argument is limited and needs to be studied further. He then concludes by saying brain cancer still has its secrets and only time and research will tell whether or not radiation is for sure a carcinogen.


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