Mobile or cellular phones are very popular in today's society. With so many people using mobile phones, it is natural that there are people asking whether they are safe. The MMF takes questions on the safety of its products and services very seriously.
Mobile phones emit very low levels of radio waves (also known as radiofrequency or 'RF' energy) when being used. Questions have been voiced as to what, if any, effect these radio waves may have on the health of the mobile phone user?
Whilst the vast majority of scientific studies have not shown any adverse health risks, there are some studies that have raised questions that need to be addressed by further research.
However, to put this into context, the effects of radio waves have been extensively researched over many years and the overwhelming majority of scientific evidence to date does not demonstrate any adverse health effects.
What do the experts say? (follow the link to view the source document)
World Health Organization
Cancer: Current scientific evidence indicates that exposure to RF fields, such as those emitted by mobile phones and their base stations, is unlikely to induce or promote cancers …
Other health risks: Scientists have reported other effects of using mobile phones including changes in brain activity, reaction times, and sleep patterns. These effects are small and have no apparent health significance
Source: WHO Fact Sheet 193 (June 2000) http://www.who.int/docstore/peh-emf/publications/facts_press/efact/efs193.html.
In the area of biological effects and medical applications of non-ionizing radiation approximately 25,000 articles have been published over the past 30 years. Despite the feeling of some people that more research needs to be done, scientific knowledge in this area is now more extensive than for most chemicals. Based on a recent in-depth review of the scientific literature, the WHO concluded that current evidence does not confirm the existence of any health consequences from exposure to low level electromagnetic fields. However, some gaps in knowledge about biological effects exist and need further research
Source: Electromagnetic Fields (EMF). Summary of health effects (2004) http://www.who.int/peh-emf/about/WhatisEMF/en/index1.html.
Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency
The weight of national and international scientific opinion is that there is no substantiated evidence that exposure to low level RF EME causes adverse health effects
Source: Fact Sheet EME Series No 1 “Electromagnetic Energy and Its Effects” (November 2003) http://www.arpansa.gov.au/pubs/eme/fact1.pdf
Environmental Health and Safety Agency (AFSSE) (France)
With regard to the risk of cancer, we can accept that with the levels of power used in mobile telephony, radiation does not have an effect on our cells’ genes (it is not ‘genotoxic’). Work carried out on animals using long-term exposure does not indicate a risk of cancer; it shows neither an actual ‘initiator’ effect nor a promoter’ effect for cancers caused by carcinogenic agents
Source: AFSSE Statement on Mobile Phones and Health (16 April 2003) http://www.afsse.fr/upload/bibliotheque/994597576240248663335826568793/statement_mobile_phones_2003.pdf
Federal Communications Commission (United States)
There is no scientific evidence that proves that wireless phone usage can lead to cancer or a variety of other problems, including headaches, dizziness or memory loss.
Source: Mobile Phones and Health Concerns (September 26, 2003) http://ftp.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/mobilephone.html
There is no firm evidence to date that RF emissions from cell phones cause ill health
Source: Safety and Safe Use of Cellular Phones, Consumer and Clinical Radiation Protection Bureau (December 3, 2002) http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/english/iyh/products/cellphones.htm.
Nordic (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) Authorities
The Nordic authorities agree that there is no scientific evidence for any adverse health effects from mobile telecommunication systems, neither from the base stations nor from the handsets, below the basic restrictions and reference values recommended by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP)
Source: Mobile Telephony and Health – A common approach for the Nordic competent authorities (21 September 2004) http://www.ssi.se/english/english_news.html.
Singapore Health Sciences Authority
Up to the present time, all international and national committees that have evaluated this whole body of evidence have reached the same conclusions: that there are no established health effects from EMF exposures below the international guidelines limits
Source: Pulse@HSA (Health Sciences Authority), Frequently Asked Questions About EME & Mobile Phones (January, 2002) http://www.hsa.gov.sg/docs/fullversion.pdf.
Swedish Radiation Protection Authority (SSI) (Sweden)
SSI’s international independent expert group reviewed studies on possible biological effects of radiofrequency fields of the type used by mobile telephony. The review focused on epidemiological and experimental cancer research, the blood-brain barrier and heat shock proteins. The expert group stated:
In none of these areas has there been break through results that have warranted firm conclusions in one way or the other. Indeed, while quite a number of new studies have been published within these areas in recent years, the overall scientific assessment has not changed markedly since the Stewart report was published and the conclusions that were formulated at that time are still to a great extent valid” (SSI First Annual Report 2003, p. 21). As noted above, one of the major conclusions in the Stewart report (U.K. Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones, 2000, p. 3) concerning possible effects of mobile phone technology on human health states that exposures below the NRPB and ICNIRP guidelines do not cause adverse health effects in the general population.
Source: Recent Research on Mobile Telephony and Cancer and Other Selected Biological Effects:
First annual report from SSI’s Independent Expert Group on Electromagnetic Fields (2003).