The Effect of Cell Phone Radiation on Human Sperm Quality – A Scientific Update

The recent publication of the National Toxicology Program results reignited the debate on risk of cancer associated with cell phones. There is also growing evidence pointing to a health concern specific to men – sperm damage. I previously summarized some of the findings on this topic in a blog article on sperm damage from cell phones back in 2013 – even then there was substantial evidence of sperm damage.  The present article serves as a scientific update of new findings since that review.

Recent Studies on the Effect of Cell Phone Radiation on Human Sperm

A 2016 study by researchers from Poland found that lifestyle factors including stress and mobile phone use can cause human sperm DNA damages. Specifically, cell phone use for more than 10 years is found to be positively associated with percentage of immature sperms. Data from the study showed a significant effect of age, obesity, mobile phone radiation and occupational stress on sperm DNA damages.

A 2016 study by researchers from China found that the daily duration of talking on the cell phone was significantly associated with decreased semen parameters, including sperm concentration, semen volume and total sperm count. It concluded that certain aspects of cell phone use may negatively affect sperm quality in men, thus impairing male fertility.

A 2015 study by researchers from Egypt found that cell phone radiation exposure significantly decreased sperm motility, sperm linear velocity, sperm linearity index, and sperm acrosin activity, and significantly increased sperm DNA fragmentation, CLU gene expression and CLU protein levels in human semen samples. CLU gene expression is negatively associated with sperm quality and positively associated with male infertility.

A 2015 study by researchers from Israel found that talking for 1 hour or more a day and during device charging were associated with higher rates of abnormal semen concentration. Their findings suggested that certain aspects of cell phone usage may bear adverse effects on sperm concentration.

A 2015 study by researchers from China showed that mobile phone radiation reduces the progressive motility and viability of human sperm and increases sperm head defects and early apoptosis of sperm cells.

A 2014 study by researchers from Ukraine investigated the direct in vitro influence of mobile phone radiation on sperm quality in healthy men and found that mobile phone radiation exposure significantly increased DNA-fragmentation and decreased sperm motility.

A 2014 review study by researchers from UK and Brazil conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of 10 pooled experimental and observational human studies involving 1492 samples on the effect of mobile phone radiation on sperm quality and concluded that mobile phone exposure negatively affects sperm quality in men.

Some studies found mixed results. For example, a 2015 study by researchers from Turkey found correlation between mobile phone usage period with sperm motility but not sperm counts and morphology. In the same study, they found a negative correlation between wireless internet usage duration and the total sperm count.  A 2014 review study by researchers from China conducted a systemic review of 18 studies with 3947 men and 186 rats and found that most of the human studies and in vitro laboratory studies indicated negative effects on the various semen parameters studied. However, meta-analysis indicated that mobile phone use had detrimental effects on sperm motility and viability in vitro studies, harmful effects on sperm concentration and motility in animal studies but no adverse effects on semen parameters in human studies. A 2013 study by researchers from Italy found no significant change in sperm parameters in subjects who used mobile phone for less than 4 hours a day but a higher percentage of sperm DNA fragmentation in subjects who used mobile phone for 4 hours a day or more, especially for those who used the device in the pocket of the trousers (vs. the shirt).

Findings from recent studies continue to show adverse effects on human sperms from mobile phone exposure. The body of evidence implies that men should not carry their mobile phones in their pant pockets. However, if you choose to carry your phone in your pocket, a Pong Case can significantly reduce your RF exposure.

The Wall Street Journal Examines How the U.S. Tests Cellphones for Radiation Safety

Over forty years ago an inspector at the Hartford, CT Police Department raised concern about the safety of the Motorola walkie-talkies they were using.  This concern about possible radiation absorption eventually led back to a Motorola lab in Florida where a newly hired engineer was asked to come up with a way to prove the devices were safe.  The concepts of the test they put together would eventually evolve and influence the current tests the FCC requires of cell phone manufacturers for radiation emissions.

Ryan Knutson at the Wall Street Journal takes an in-depth look at cell phone radiation exposure and the history of how the current radiation exposure testing standards came to be in his July 6, 2016, article “Belt Clip? How the U.S. Tests Cellphones for Safety”.

In the article he states that the original test that was created involved placing the walkie-talkie near a human skull filled with mostly sugar water, and then measuring the temperature of the liquid.  This would simulate the potential thermal effects of the radiation on an average human.

The FCC tests of today use similar approach with a human model that was based on data from a sample of a 1989 study on U.S. Army soldiers.  A major concern Pong has previously pointed out is that the current model uses a 6’2 adult weighing 220 lbs. and does not account for children or people smaller than the test size model – – and how their radiation absorption is different.  A 2010 study demonstrated that a child’s head RF absorption can be over 2 times greater, and absorption of the skull’s bone marrow can be 10 times greater than adults.

Cell Phone Head SAR Testing
Head SAR Testing. Image credit: Wall Street Journal

The WSJ article goes on to discuss how a recent U.S. government study by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) challenges the notion that heating is the only potential health effect, thus renewing a debate about whether the modern version of the original test adequately protects human health.

The partial results released from the NTP $25 million study on rodents that found an association between RF radiation and cancer and has re-ignighted the debate over cell phone radiation.

Read the full article at WallStreetJournal.com »

 

Scientific American Asks: Do Cell Phones Cause Cancer?

The Scientific American weighs in on the cell phone radiation cancer debate with an article by Christopher J. Portier and Wendy L. Leonard:  Do Cell Phones Cause Cancer? Probably, but It’s Complicated.  

They review the landscape of cell phone cancer radiation studies including a look at the recent National Toxicology Program (NTP) cancer study that showed cancer in rats exposed to cell phone radiation.

They propose a careful review of the data as well as the real life human implications in order to understand it all.  They also provide a brief review of some of the human studies done both before and after 2010 to give context to the landscape and the most recent NTP study which found a connection between cell phone radiation and cancer in rats.

“In our opinion, the exposure to RF-EMF caused the tumors seen in the male rats in the NTP study. With the positive case-control studies seen in humans and a similar positive finding in a well-conducted laboratory study in rats, the evidence that cell phones can cause cancer has strengthened.”

The article closes with some tips to protect yourself and some words of caution.  It’s a great article although we think they missed the chance to remind people that Pong Cases are a great way to reduce exposure to cell phone radiation!

Read Full Article »

US Government Study Finds Link Between Cellphone Radiation and Cancer in Rats

According to a variety of news outlets, the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP) is expected to issue a public announcement stating that cell phone radiation presents a cancer risk for humans. This follows its recently completed cell phone radiation study that showed statistically significant increases in cancer among rats that had been exposed to GSM or CDMA signals for two-years.

This is by far—far and away—the most carefully done cell phone bioassay, a biological assessment. This is a classic study that is done for trying to understand cancers in humans, – – Christopher Portier, retired head of NTP

The findings come from a $25 million study that was conducted over two and a half years by the National Toxicology Program of the US government.  The study showed that male rats exposed to two types of RF radiation were significantly more likely than unexposed rats to develop a type of brain cancer called a glioma.  These rats also had a higher chance of developing the rare, malignant form of tumor known as a schwannoma of the heart.

Christopher Portier, a retired head of NTP who helped launch the study and still sometimes works for the federal government as a consultant scientist is quoted as saying:  “There will have to be a lot of work after this to assess if it causes problems in humans, but the fact that you can do it in rats will be a big issue. It actually has me concerned, and I’m an expert.”

Coverage on this report is mounting quickly.  Please see the following sources for the initial articles.

Media Coverage of Cell Phone Radiation Cancer Link:


Consumer ReportsGovernment Study Finds Link Between Cell Phones and Cancer in Rats

FOX NEWS HEALTHGovernment Study Links Cellphone Radiation to Cancer in Rats

MicroWaveNewsCell Phone Radiation Boosts Cancer Rates in Animals;$25 Million NTP Study Finds Brain Tumors

Mother Jones“Game-Changing” Study Links Cellphone Radiation to Cancer

NBC NewsA Possible Cellphone Link to Cancer? A Rat Study Launches New Debate

Scientific AmericanMajor Cell Phone Radiation Study Reignites Cancer Questions

SCIENCEQuestions Abound After Study Links Tumors to Cellphone Radiation

The Wall Street JournalU.S. Cellphone Study Fans Cancer Worries

Yahoo Finance
Government Study Finds Link Between Cell Phones and Cancer in Rats

Near Field Cell Phone Radiation and the Pong Case

Cell phones are wonderful gadgets for modern living. However, science is still inconclusive on the safety of cell phone radiation. Cell phones emit radio-frequency (RF) electromagnetic radiation (EMR), which is necessary for wireless communication but poses a potential health risk when absorbed by the human body. When we talk about cell phone radiation, it is important to understand that different regions of the radiation field surrounding a cell phone have different characteristics, and present different levels of concern to the user.

Near-field and Far-field
The characteristics of radio wave change with the distance from the transmitting antenna. The field is typically divided into three regions — the near-field, the far-field, and the transition zone between them. The near-field can be further divided into two sub-regions: the reactive near-field and the radiating near-field (as shown in Figure 1).    Generally speaking, the near-field refers to the RF field close to the antenna and the far-field is the RF field further away from the antenna. However, there is no formal definition for the boundary of the near-field or the far-field. A commonly accepted definition is that the near-field is less than one wavelength (λ) from the antenna and the far-field begins at a distance of 2λ from the antenna and radiates out. The near-field and the far-field are different in many aspects. From the field strength point of view, in the far-field, the field strength decreases inversely as the square of the distance (1/r2). For example, the radiation is about 100 times more intense at a distance of 1 foot compared to 10 feet away from the transmitting antenna. In the near-field region, the strength of the field is more complex and decays more rapidly (in addition to 1/r2 it also includes a 1/r3 relationship). Figure 2 illustrates how electric field strength varies with distance from a simplified source.

 

near-field-far-field-radiation
Figure 1. Different regions of RF wave from an antenna.

electric-field-strength

In wireless communication, the far-field is the part of the radio wave used for the transfer of information – it carries the signal and propagates at the speed of light. As far as the human exposure is concerned, the near-field is more important. Although different in characteristics, the far-field is sourced from and closely associated with the near-field. Any change in the near-field can impact the far-field.

Near-field Measurement
Near-field measurement is very tricky because when an external probe is placed in the near-field region, the probe itself will interact with the antenna under test and change the initial field pattern. Measurement of the near-field requires detectors designed specifically for this purpose. That’s why at Pong we don’t recommend the use of a regular handheld RF meters to measure the near-field of a cell phone because a regular RF meter will interfere with the phone’s own antenna and change the exact field it tries to measure. Those handheld RF meters are intended for measuring the far-field instead. (See Can a Handheld RF Meter Be Used to Test a Pong Case?)

Cell Phone Radiation Exposure
When you use your cell phone, your body is often located in the near-field (one wavelength or less) of the cell phone antenna. Cell phones use a wide range of frequency bands from 700 MHz to up to 2.5 GHz. The near-field extends to about 17 inches at 700 MHz and 4.7 inches at 2.5 GHz. In the near-field, the field strength can rise dramatically with only a small additional movement towards the antenna. It is especially concerning when you hold your phone next to your head or wear it on your body – at the almost touching or touching distance, you can be exposed to very intense near-field radiation from the device.

And you may not be aware that the current FCC guidelines allow a device to be tested up to 25 mm away from the user’s body. The iPhone 6, for example, is tested 5mm away from the body. As a result, when you carry your cell phone directly against your body (in your pocket for example), you may be exposed to radiation levels that exceed the published SAR of the device and even the current FCC’s safety limit. That’s why all cell phone manufactures include warnings in their user’s manuals to keep the cell phone a certain distance away from your body for safety concern. This is also why the city of Berkeley, California, has passed an ordinance requiring cell phone retailers to alert consumers that they may exceed federal guidelines for exposure to RF radiation if they carry their phone on in a pocket or on their body.

Will a Shielding Product Protect You?
There are different approaches in the marketplace to try to reduce the user’s exposure to cell phone radiation. Some products claim to reduce exposure by shielding, blocking or absorbing the RF radiation from the phone. Since the far-field is generated from the near-field, if you shield, block or absorb the near-field, you weaken the far-field and therefore the signal strength of your cell phone. Your phone has a dynamic relationship with the cell tower – if the cell tower “hears” a weak signal from your phone, it instructs the device to turn up its transmitting power. Therefore, a shielding or blocking product will ironically force your phone to transmit at a higher power than it would otherwise need, which not only drains battery faster, but also may result in higher exposure to the users. As a result, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued warnings against the use of such products.

The Pong Case Solution
Pong’s patented technology does not block or shield the near-field, but redistributes it so less of the field is directed towards you and regions of intense RF are dispersed. The near-field is therefore, still able to propagate to the far-field and your signal strength is not weakened. The Pong technology is the result of many years of research and development by a team of scientists and engineers trained at MIT, Harvard, UCLA and the University of Manchester. After testing various shielding, blocking and absorbing approaches, they finally invented the Pong technology, which is the best solution for reducing cell phone radiation exposure to the users. Pong Cases are tested in FCC-certified labs and Pong’s claims are verified by third parties such as Wired Magazine.

[1] What’s The Difference Between EM Near Field And Far Field? By Lou Frenzel, 2012.

Related Reading:  
How does a cell phone work?
Does your cell phone case affect your radiation?

New Study Confirms Higher Cell Phone Radiation Absorption in Children’s Brain

2015 study by U.S. and Brazilian scientists confirms a significantly higher absorption of cell phone radiation in a child’s brain than in an adult’s brain.

Measuring Cell Phone Radiation
Cell phone radiation absorption is measured by what is called SAR (Specific Absorption Rate). In the U.S. the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) sets the SAR safety limit for the general public to be 1.6 watts per kilogram (1.6 W/kg).

Current FCC Standards & Different Body Sizes
A point of concern related to this is the fact that while the FCC safety standards apply to all users’ body sizes (from small children to large adult), the actual testing model known as SAM (Specific Anthropomorphic Mannequin) used in SAR compliance testing is based upon a 6’2”, 220 lbs. large adult male. According to a 2011 study, SAM represents only the largest 3% of cell phone users. There has been concern that the smaller 97% of the population actually receives higher exposure than the reported SAR of the device from its certification process. Children come in well under the size and specifications of the SAM testing model.

Testing the Difference in SAR
The present study used computer simulation to compare the peak SAR in the brains of children to that of adults. It found that the peak SAR in a child’s brain is more than double that in an adult’s brain. The human head consists of the brain and the skull, which surrounds and protects the brain. A young child’s skull is not only smaller and thinner than an adult’s, but also absorbs RF differently because of its higher water content. As a result, cell phone radiation penetrates deeper and the SAR is higher in a child’s brain.

The present study excluded outer ear tissue (pinna) from the SAR calculation. The FCC recently declared that the outer ear is to be treated as an extremity, like the hand or foot, and not as part of the head. Based on the new classification, the pinna is subject to a higher peak SAR safety limit of 4.0 W/kg instead of the generally-used 1.6 W/kg limit for head and body.

However, the size of the ear is an important factor when comparing the RF energy absorption in the brains of children and adults from cell phones in real life. In a 2015 publication by Gandhi titled “Yes the Children Are More Exposed to Radiofrequency Energy from Mobile Telephones than Adults”, Gandhi explained that “the main reason why children, women, and people with thinner pinnae and skulls absorb more radiofrequency energy is because of the placement of the cell phone radiating source closer to the brain”. Distance plays a key role in determining RF energy absorption from the cell phone because RF radiation intensity increases dramatically as it gets closer to the antenna in the so-called near-field region of the cell phone. According to Gandhi, the smaller size of pinna and skull of children results in their higher RF absorption under similar cell phone usage conditions.

What Other Studies Have Found
Many previous studies also found higher RF energy absorption in children than adults. For example, a 2002 study by Gandhi and Kang showed that the peak 1-g SAR for both the body tissue and the brain increases with reducing head size. A 2003 study by Anderson found that children received a higher dose of RF radiation compared to adults, and that the dose increases with decreasing age. A 2008 study by Wiart et al. showed that the maximum SAR in 1 g of peripheral brain tissues of child models aged between 5 and 8 years is about two times higher than in adult models. A 2010 study by Christ et al showed that the locally induced fields in children can be more than double in subregions of the brain and the eye due to the closer proximity of the phone to these tissues. The increase is even larger for bone marrow (greater than 10 times) as a result of its significantly higher conductivity. A 2014 study by Lu et al. also showed that the SAR distributions in the human brain are age-dependent, and there is a deeper penetration of the absorbed RF in a child’s brain.

The Conclusions
Not only do children’s brains experience higher exposure and deeper penetration from cell phone radiation, but they also face longer lifetime exposure. Many studies show that the health effects of wireless radiation are cumulative. But there is still much that we just don’t know. Additionally, children’s developing nervous systems and immature immune systems make them more vulnerable to environmental toxicants, including wireless radiation. The effect of wireless radiation on their brains as they develop is largely unknown, which is the source of concern for our team here at Pong. The outcome of all these studies suggests that exposure to cell phone radiation should be restricted for children.

Use Precaution
We suggest using great caution in how you allow your children to use cell phones and restrict the amount of time they spend with the device. Pong Cases are a great place to start because they direct wireless energy away from your children’s brain and reduce the SAR. But don’t stop there, we also suggest a variety of tactics and strategies to help further reduce their exposure to cell phone radiation. Please see our top 10 tips for reducing cell phone radiation exposure to start protecting your children today.

– – – – – – –
Cell Phone Radiation Studies Cited:

Dosimetric Simulations of Brain Absorption of Mobile Phone Radiation—The Relationship Between psSAR and Age.
Exposure limits: the underestimation of absorbed cell phone radiation, especially in children.
Analysis of RF exposure in the head tissues of children and adults.
Yes the Children Are More Exposed to Radiofrequency Energy From Mobile Telephones Than Adults
Comparisons of peak SAR levels in concentric sphere head models of children and adults for irradiation by a dipole at 900 MHz.
Some present problems and a proposed experimental phantom for SAR compliance testing of cellular telephones at 835 and 1900 MHz.
Age-dependent tissue-specific exposure of cell phone users.
Comparison of specific absorption rate induced in brain tissues of a child and an adult using mobile phone

Are Children Protected by Current Cell Phone Radiation Standards?

Cell phones are becoming increasingly popular in children. A 2015 survey finds most children get their first cell phone when they are 6-7 years old and 75% of American children under 8 have access to a Smartphone or Tablet. About three-quarters of teens have a cell phone.[1] Here at Pong we feel it is important to ask the question “are cell phones safe for children?

Cell phones emit radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic radiation. When a person holds or carries a mobile device in close proximity, the user’s head and body can absorb over half of the transmitted energy. In the U.S. the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) sets RF exposure limit for the general public to be 1.6 watts per kilogram (1.6 W/kg) in Specific Absorption Rate (SAR).

Cell Phone SAR testing on SAM head with robotic armFig 1, SAR assessment equipment, showing robotic probe in a SAM head

Before a cell phone can be legally sold in the U.S. it must be certified for compliance with the FCC safety standards. Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) compliance testing uses a standardized model of the human head and body. The testing model (known as SAM, which stands for Specific Anthropomorphic Mannequin) is filled with liquids that simulate the RF absorption characteristics of adult human tissue. A robotic probe takes a series of measurements of the electric field within the SAM head and torso to calculate the SAR.

While the FCC safety standard applies to all body sizes (from small infant to large adult), the SAM testing model is based upon a large adult male 6’2” tall and 220 pounds in weight. According to a 2011 study, SAM represents only the largest 3% of cell phone users. –The smaller 97% of the population will have higher exposure than the measured SAR.

This is VERY concerning for the smallest and most vulnerable cell phone user group – children.

In an effort to investigate the differences in RF energy absorption from wireless devices between children and adults, Pong’s chief scientist, Dr. Wang, identified 33 scientific studies published in peer-reviewed journals on children’s head and body SAR. She found that the vast majority (>94%) of the published studies reported higher SAR and deeper RF penetration for children compared to adults. Most studies attributed the differences in the head SAR between children and adults to the thinner ear, skin and skull of the younger children. Other factors that might contribute to the difference include changes in the tissue property (conductivity and permittivity) for different age groups. For example, a 2010 study demonstrated that a child’s head RF absorption can be over 2 times greater, and absorption of the skull’s bone marrow can be 10 times greater than adults. And the whole-body average SAR in children was consistently found to exceed the 0.08 W/kg safety limit set by the FCC. The American Academy of Pediatrics, in a letter to Congressman Dennis Kucinich in December 2012, states: “Children are disproportionately affected by environmental exposures, including cell phone radiation.”

Not only do children experience higher exposure and deeper penetration from cell phone radiation, but they also face longer lifetime exposure. Many studies show that the health effects of wireless radiation are cumulative, but long term study data on the effect on children is not complete. Children’s developing nervous systems and immature immune systems make them more vulnerable to environmental toxicants, including wireless radiation so we feel this is reason to take extra precautions with children’s use of cellular devices.

In summary, we feel that children are not sufficiently protected by the existing FCC Safety Standard because no child model is used in the RF compliance testing. Research on children exposure indicates that action should be taken to limit children’s exposure to cell phone radiation and we encourage our readers to do so.

We feel strongly that everyone with children should take precautions on their cell phone uses. Please see our tips for reducing cell phone radiation exposure to get some easy tactics to use. We also suggest the use of a Pong cell phone case to assist in reducing radiation exposure.

[1] Information Sources: www.vouchercloud.net , Common Sense Media and the Pew Research Center

Related Reading:
What is near-field cell phone radiation?
U.S. National Toxicology Program study finds link between cell phone radiation and brain cancer.

Consumer Reports: Does Cell Phone Radiation Cause Cancer?

Consumer Reports jumps into the discussion on cell phone radiation and cancer in their November 2015 issue.  Author David Shipper educates readers by covering the background and basics of cell phone radiation then walks them through the full debate including the science of cellular radiation, the completed health studies, and the open questions on the possible relationship between cell phone radiation and cancer.

“As the debate over cell-phone radiation heats up, consumers deserve answers to whether there’s a cancer connection.”

He ends the article with a call for clarity due to the amount of unanswered questions around the effects of cell phone radiation and its possible health effects on the human body.  He especially focuses in on the effects of cellular radiation on children and the lack of testing in this area.

What do you think?  We encourage you to read the article and sound in on the debate in the comments section of it.  We encourage you to let them know what you think and tell them if you use a Pong case to help!

Read the full article:  ConsumerReports.com »

COSMOS Study of Mobile Phone Use and Health Updates

As cell phones and other wireless devices become increasingly popular, there is a growing concern over the possible health impact of wireless technologies.  Science is still inconclusive on whether cell phone radiation is safe or harmful to humans. In the past decade, several large human studies have been carried out worldwide to examine possible links between cell phone use and brain cancer. Results from those studies are mixed and sometimes contradictory. Following a comprehensive review of the existing scientific evidence, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified cell phone radiation as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” in 2011, based on limited evidence of increased brain tumor risk in long-term cell phone users. New research data for heavy and long-term mobile phone use is needed in order to answer the question.

The COSMOS study is an international cohort study aiming to investigate whether there are health problems linked to long-term use of mobile phones. It is being conducted in six European countries – UK, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands and France.

On the COSMOS website, it states that:

“Many reviews have concluded that there is no convincing evidence to date that mobile phones are harmful to health. However, the widespread use of mobile phones is a relatively recent phenomenon and it is possible that adverse health effects could emerge after years of prolonged use. Evidence to date suggests that short term (less than ten years) exposure to mobile phone emissions is not associated with an increase in brain and nervous system cancers. However, regarding longer term use, the evidence base necessary to allow us to make firm judgments has not yet been accumulated. There are still significant uncertainties that can only be resolved by monitoring the health of a large cohort of phone users over a long period of time.”

The COSMOS study received funding of 2,028,700.00 Euro from both the government and industry. The Study started on April 1 2008 and is currently in its 2nd 5-year period (until May 31 2019). A total of 290,000 adult mobile phone users were recruited across Europe. Participants are asked to fill in an online questionnaire about their health, lifestyle and use of wireless technology. The study team gained permission from the participants to access their mobile phone records through their mobile phone operators and medical records via the Health and Social Care Information Center (HSCIC). The interested health information includes symptoms, like headaches, sleep disorders, tinnitus and chronic disease such as cancer, benign tumors, neurological diseases (e.g. Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and stroke). Participants are contacted approximately once a year to update their details or to request additional information. The intension of the study is to follow participant’s health status for 20-30 years.

The Study has been making good progress over the past few years. It finished participant recruitment and baseline data collection at the end of 2012. A major follow-up questionnaire was developed during 2012. The follow-up questionnaire focuses on mobile phones and wireless technologies, but also collects data on other environmental exposures in order to answer wider environment and health questions. In 2013, the team received mobile phone traffic data for approximately 80% of the participants. The team focused on data analysis in 2014 and plans to launch their follow-up questionnaire in 2015.

Currently, COSMOS is the only prospective cohort study specifically designed to address the important unanswered questions concerning long-term health risk to the public from wireless technologies. More information about the Study can be found at http://www.ukcosmos.org/index.html.

Learn more about cell phone radiation on the Pong Pulse »

The Effect of Cell Phone Radiation On Your Brain’s Activity

The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies cell phone radiation as a “possible human carcinogen” due to an increased risk of brain cancer from long-term and heavy use of cell phones. Although short-term cell phone exposure has not been shown to cause brain tumors, research is showing that it can change your brain activity in ways we don’t fully understand yet.

Human brain cells communicate via electrical impulses, which can be detected by non-invasive EEG (Electroencephalogram) measurements. A recent mobile phone study by researchers from Netherlands found that when a dialing mobile phone is placed on the ear, its radiation, although not consciously sensed, is electrically detected by the brain. In the study, 31 healthy females were exposed to a 3G mobile phone for 15 minutes and their EEG activity was measured. Changed brain activity (i.e. cortical reactivity increase) was detected immediately after radiation peaks, which are produced during the phone’s normal dialing process.

The Netherlands study is not the first one to show an EEG change as a result of acute exposure to cell phone radiation. In 2015 a French study showed that the brain EEG pattern (alpha band) is altered by GSM cell phone radiation; a 2013 Italian mobile phone study also demonstrated significant changes in brain activity (i.e. cortical excitability) induced by 45-min exposure to GSM mobile phone; a 2013 Australian study showed altered brain EEG (alpha band) by GSM-like RF radiation. A 2011 Australian study showed an effect of acute 2G and 3G exposure on human cognitive functions. A 2010 U.S. study found that pulsed radiation from ordinary mobile phone use can trigger human brain evoked potentials (Eps) as detected by EEG.

Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging is another tool used to study the effect of cell phone radiation on human brain activity. Using PET scans, a 2011 U.S. study published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) demonstrated that 50 minutes of cell phone use changed human brain glucose metabolism in the region of brain closest to the phone antenna. A 2006 Finland study also showed that mobile phone radiation induced changes in cerebral blood flow in humans.

The evidence from above studies shows that the human brain is sensitive to cell phone radiation. The observed brain activity change cannot be explained by only a heating (or thermal) effect as a result of temperature rise from energy absorption. However, no underlying biological mechanism has been identified to explain the effects. We also don’t know what health consequence may be resulted from such repeated stimulations. More research is still needed to understand the mechanism and long-term health effects of cell phone radiation on humans. The current safety standard did not take into account any non-thermal effects, such as evidenced in the above studies. As of today there is no known safe level of exposure to cell phone radiation.

Here at Pong, we feel it is important to be aware that our brains are sensitive to cell phone radiation and long-term exposure can cause possible adverse health effects such as brain cancer. The best thing you can do now is to take a proactive stance to reduce your exposure to cell phone radiation. There are ways to reduce your exposure to mobile phone radiation.  For some easy steps please refer to our article on tips to reduce mobile phone radiation exposure.  We think one of the best ways to limit your exposure is to use a radiation reduction phone case from Pong.