Is your cell phone cooking your brain?

Your cell phone sends out energy or radio waves that are very similar to the ones used by your microwave oven to reheat leftover pizza. Does that make you wonder what your cell phone might be doing to your brain?   

Some internet sites claim that cell phones are so dangerous and powerful you can use their radiation to pop corn, boil an egg and even roast a chicken. That would be scary if it were true, but it’s NOT true.     

It’s also not true that the electromagnetic fields created by cell phones are perfectly safe. That’s what the phone manufacturers would like us to believe. They’ve commissioned studies that conveniently couldn’t find any increased health risks at all from cell phone use. 

The truth lies somewhere in the middle. Here’s what you need to know about the risk of using your cell phone and a few simple ways you can protect yourself. 

Do Cell Phones Really Cook Your Brain?

In our modern world, we’re bombarded by so many electromagnetic waves it’s been called “electromagnetic pollution.” It comes from appliances like hairdryers, refrigerators, computers, microwave ovens, air conditioners, compact fluorescent bulbs, vacuum cleaners and, of course, cell phones.

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Most researchers say these radio waves are weak and harmless to humans.

But cells phones present a special case. For one thing, we spend more time using them every day than other appliances and we use them right next to our brains. What’s more, cell phone antennae have stronger electromagnetic fields than other electronic gadgets. 

From scientific studies, we definitely know that our brains can absorb radio waves from cell phones,1 and cell phone use can raise our brain’s temperature by 7 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s a lot! 

A National Institutes for Health study also found that people who held a cell phone to their ear for more than 50 minutes had a 7% increase in their brain activity in the areas closest to the phone’s antenna. 2

But does this increased heat and brain activity necessarily add up to brain damage?  Although it hasn’t been proven, scientists have a strong suspicion that over time these effects can lead to brain tumors. 

Researchers studying large groups of people have found a clear association between cell phone use and an increase in brain tumors:

  • In a 10-year study published in 2010 in the International Journal of Epidemiology, researchers reviewed the phone usage of over 22,000 people in 13 countries.  They determined that cell phone users who spent 30 minutes or more per day on the phone had a 40% higher risk of developing a brain tumor on the side of the head where they usually held their phone.3,4
  • Just last year Italian researchers reviewed a large number of the studies on cell phones and found serious flaws in the research sponsored by cell phone companies.  When they excluded phone industry research and relied only on independent third party studies, they concluded that cell phone use over a 10 year period doubles the risk of developing a brain tumor on the side of the head where the phone is habitually held.5

In 2011, based on its own review of the studies, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified cell phone use as a possible cancer risk to humans.  It’s hard to ignore that kind of warning, so what can you do to protect yourself and your family?

How to Protect Your Brain from Cell Phone Risks

The WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer offers some practical tips to help reduce the risk of developing a brain tumor from your cell phone: 

  • Try texting instead of calling when possible;
  • Use a hands-free device or the speaker mode to keep the phone’s antenna away from your head; 
  • Limit the number of calls you make from your cell phone and the length of time you talk;
  • Opt for a conventional land line when available; and
  • Avoid using your phone in areas with poor reception. If the signal is low, your phone has to put out more power to connect and that raises your risk. 

Fortunately, technology companies are also discovering new ways to protect us from the risks of cell phone radiation. One easy solution is the Matrix Radiation Protection Chip which attaches to the outside of your cell phone or to the battery. 

The chip is a paper-thin patch that works by neutralizing the negative effects of electromagnetic energy waves from your cell phone, transforming them into safe and natural waves. It doesn’t interfere with how your phone operates and keeps you safe no matter how much you use your phone.

The Matrix chip is simple to install, reasonably priced and available online. You can read more about it at

When it’s so easy to be safer, why put yourself and your family at risk?

1 Schönborn, F., Burkhardt, M., Kuster, N. (1998) Differences in energy absorption between heads of adults and children in the near field of sources. Health Phys. 74(2): 160-168.

2 Volkow, N.D., Tomasi, D., Wang, G., Vaska, P., Fowler, J.S., Telang, F., Alexoff, D., Logan, J., and Wong, C. (2011) Effects of Cell Phone Radiofrequency Signal Exposure on Brain Glucose Metabolism. JAMA 305(8): 808-813.

3 The Interphone Study Group. 2010. Brain Tumour Risk in Relation to Mobile Telephone Use: Results of the INTERPHONE International Case-Control Study. International Journal of Epidemiology (in press). doi: 10.1093/ije/dyq079

4 Saracci, R. an J.Samet. 2010. Commentary: Call Me on my Mobile Phone . . . or Better Not? — A Look at the INTERPHONE Study Results. International Journal of Epidemiology (in press). doi: 10.1093/ije/dyq082

5 Angelo G Levis, Nadia Minicuci, Paolo Ricci, Valerio Gennaro and Spiridione Garbisa,Mobile phones and head tumours. The discrepancies in cause-effect relationships in the epidemiological studies – how do they arise? Environmental Health 2011, 10:59 doi:10.1186/1476-069X-10-59 b

© Copyright 2012 Discovery Health Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Posted in Brain, Cancer

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