What Are the Dangers of Microwaves in Mobile Phones?

Updated February 21, 2017

Due to car accidents caused by cell phone users, many areas ban talking or texting while operating a motor vehicle. The dangers of cell phones go beyond distracted driving, however. Radiation from the devices puts users at increased risk for many physical and mental health problems, some of them deadly. Children and heavy users are especially at risk.

Electro Magnetic Fields

Microwave ovens, TVs, radios, medical X-rays and mobile phones contain charged particles that generate electromagnetic fields (EMFs). When cell phones touch the head or body, radiation goes into that area, potentially leading to serious mental and physical conditions. Though researchers have been aware of this damage for decades, cell phones continue to be sold as-is since they simply wouldn't work at lower radio frequency levels.

Brain Tumor Risk

Brain tumours are often fatal and sufferers usually die within a year of diagnosis. A study by Dr. Lennart Hardell of Orebro University in Sweden, reported in 2010, found a link between cell phones and tumours -- using a cell phone for an hour or more each day significantly increased the risk of tumours and tumours are most likely to develop on the side of the head where the cell phone is held. It found tumours may also form in other areas such as the eyes, prostate and breast.

Other Risks

Italian researchers from the University of Rome found that exposure to a cell phone in call-receiving mode can cause irreversible disruption of enzyme structure in the central nervous system. This would explain why cell phone radiation is linked to neurological problems such as memory loss, confusion and loss of concentration. In addition to these health problems, cell phones held close to the body, for example in the pocket, can damage reproductive organs and cause infertility.

Dangers for Children

At least 25 per cent of 7- to 10-year-olds own a cell phone and many parents consider them a good way to keep tabs on their kids. Unfortunately, children are at especially high risk of damage from EMFs. According to Dr. Om Ghandi of the University of Utah, children under 10 years old can absorb radiation across their entire brain, and absorb twice as much radiation through their skulls as adults. He also links cell phone use to epilepsy in children.


There are several ways to practice cell phone safety. To keep radiation away from your brain, use a headset or the speakerphone feature when using a cell phone and try to limit daily use to 30 minutes or fewer. Turn off the phone when you go to bed and consider purchasing a traditional alarm clock in lieu using of the cell phone's alarm feature. When carrying a phone, place it in a holster, backpack or purse rather than in the pocket to prevent your body from absorbing radiation.

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About the Author

Christina Sloane has been writing since 1992. Her work has appeared in several national literary magazines.