WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Cell phone emissions excite the part of the brain cortex nearest to the phone, but it is not clear if these effects are harmful, Italian researchers reported on Monday.
Their study, published in the Annals of Neurology, adds to a growing body of research about mobile phones, their possible effects on the brain, and whether there is any link to cancer.
About 730 million cell phones are expected to be sold this year, according to industry estimates, and nearly 2 billion people around the world already use them.
Of these, more than 500 million use a type that emits electromagnetic fields known as Global System for Mobile communications or GSM radio phones. Their possible effects on the brain are controversial and not well understood.
Dr. Paolo Rossini of Fatebenefratelli hospital in Milan and colleagues used Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or TMS to check brain function while people used these phones.
They had 15 young male volunteers use a GSM 900 cell phone for 45 minutes. In 12 of the 15, the cells in the motor cortex adjacent to the cell phone showed excitability during phone use but returned to normal within an hour.
The cortex is the outside layer of the brain and the motor cortex is known as the "excitable area" because magnetic stimulation has been shown to cause a muscle twitch.
The researchers stressed that they had not shown that using a cell phone is bad for the brain in any way, but people with conditions such as epilepsy, linked with brain cell excitability, could potentially be affected.
"It should be argued that long-lasting and repeated exposure to EMFs (electromagnetic frequencies) linked with intense use of cellular phones in daily life might be harmful or beneficial in brain-diseased subjects," they wrote.
"Further studies are needed to better circumstantiate these conditions and to provide safe rules for the use of this increasingly more widespread device."
Medical studies on cell phone use have provided mixed results. Swedish researchers found last year that using cell phones over time can raise the risk of brain tumors. But a study by Japan's four mobile telephone operators found no evidence that radio waves from the phones harmed cells or DNA.
The Dutch Health Council analyzed several studies and found no evidence that radiation from mobile phones was harmful.
Well that explains a lot! Now hang up and drive damnbit!
I believe that the cell phone predicament is only applicable because the cell phone transmitter is against your head (and the problem is thus solved through the use of the aforementioned headset). So unless you make it a habit to keep your wireless router to your ear... I suspect you'll be fine.
I knew a guy who kept his router to his ear. It stretched his ear lobes out so far, he had stretch marks on top of his head. Had to shave his head and put Acme Cocoa Butter Stretch Mark Cream on every day. All those flies buzzing his head from the smell, made him flip out. Now he's institutionalized. That's how I knew this story was true.
Electro-Magnetic Radiation (EMR) is known to be harmful to human in some extend. Microwave cooks at frequency of approximately 3 GHz. Military radars is known to be able to cook a chicken in close proximity. High voltage lines is known to increase the cases of cancer for people live near by.
Cordless phones used to be just radio waves (25 channels), then 900 MHz, then 2.4 GHz, and now 5.8 GHz, obsolutely crazy for just a home use electronic device. Cell phone operates between 800 MHz to 2 GHz, depends on what services or protocol your phone's using. GSM operates between 850 MHz and 1.9 GHz in U.S. If there's an effect on human, it's not a surprise.
Hands free devices, would mean the cell phone is most likely in the pants pocket. So it won't affect the brain, but may affect the organ closest to your pants pocket. It's not good for men. There're complains about heat from laptop CPUs lowers sperm counts, a hot cell phone would most likely do the same.
But EMR is everywhere, so it's not limited to just cell phone users. Radio signals, microwave signals are everywhere in an urban area. You never know, there might be a data packet going through your brain right now.
To be causious with EMR, yes. To avoid using it completely, impossible for modern society.
What are you guys talking about? Do I need to say it so obviously?! Ok, here's the warning in complete layman's terms. -- Warning: Putting an operating cell phone in your pants (trousers) pocket, could result in your balls being cooked! -- Understand now. LOL
Here's one more thing I like to add -- DO NOT use your cell phone while you're re-fueling your vehicle. Seriously!! I saw many times, idiots talking on the cell right next to running gasoline line to his/her car. This is 100% Dangerous! A cell phone can ignite the gasoline and cause an explosion, which will not only endanger your own life but also all near-by people in the gas station. You think cell talking while driving is danger, this is even more so.
Mythbusters spent a whole show trying to ignite anything with a cell phone. It ain't gonna unless you got discount batteries that explode while you are topping off. Now triggering an IED with a cell, that's different.
"A cell phone can ignite the gasoline and cause an explosion, which will not only endanger your own life but also all near-by people in the gas station. You think cell talking while driving is danger, this is even more so."
for my opinion refer to what payton said...that was a pretty kool episode of mythbusters too
Towlie: Wanna get high?
Cartman: NO!!! WE DO NOT WANT TO GET HIGH YOU STUPID TOWL!!
There was a fake email circulated in the net many months ago about alleged accidents of cell phone use in gas stations. This email was proved to be fake. I think this is what you're talking about the "myth".
However, warnings in gas stations for cell phone use was in place long before this fake email. The email was fake, but the warning is true! Cell phone is a potential hazard for igniting gasoline, as well as any other electronics that could potentially produce statics. See here from NFPA, http://tinyurl.com/r4n7k.
Safety do not care about myths! Anything potentially dangerous, will be treated with caution. Gasoline is dangerous, should be handle with caution. Consider youself warned. Do NOT blame anyone else but yourself, if accident happened because you disregarded warnings. Enough said.
The multiple computers in your cars emit RF in huge amounts. As do passive receivers to a lesser degree.
OnStar and some other tracking systems over which the owner has no control also emit cellphone and microwave-range RF. These are in very common use. Will they cause gas stations to explode?
I read a recent claim that 2 cellphones with an egg between them cooked the egg "completely" in something like 50 minutes. There isn't enough energy there to "cook" anything. You're talking maybe 300 thousandths of a watt of energy for modern phones. Older cell phones pumped out 3 full watts when in high-power mode. Your personal FRS or business radio puts out more energy than a cellphone, especially the newer long-range models. Handheld amateur radios put out as much as 5 Watts.
Can military radars cook chickens? Yes. That's how the microwave oven was first conceived. Those radar units pumped out hundreds to thousands of watts of energy. Soldiers that serviced the systems sometimes received RF burns.
Frequency is not the only factor that determines if something is dangerous. It also depends on emitted power, how that power is directed, distance, and what material exists between the source and the potentially affected object.