Finds: Cell Phone Radiation Breaks Human and Animal DNA
By Stephen L. Fowler
December 20, 2004
RF energy from cell phones
have been shown to harm body cells and damage DNA in laboratory
conditions, according to a new study funded by the European
The "Reflex" study was conducted by 12 research
groups in seven European countries. It did not prove that
mobile phones are a risk to health however, the study concluded
that more research is needed to see if these same effects
can also be found outside a lab and in normal cell phone
The cell phone industry continues to assert that there is
no conclusive evidence of harmful effects as a result of
Cells showed a significant increase in single and double-strand
DNA breaks after being exposed to electromagnetic fields
typical for mobile phones. The cell in this study could
not always repair the damage. Since DNA carries the genetic
material of an organism and its different cells, this could
have long term effects on persons using cell phones.
Franz Adlkofer, project leader, stated: "There was
remaining damage for future generation of cells," This
means the change in the DNA had procreated in the next cell
The RF energy used in the study was at levels between a
Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) of between 0.3 and 2 watts
per kilogram. Many cell phones emit radio signals at SAR
levels of between 0.5 and 1 W/kg.
SAR is a measure of the rate of radio energy absorption
in body tissue, and the SAR limit recommended by the International
Commission of Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection is 2 W/kg.
The study leader advised against the use of a mobile phone
when an alternative fixed line phone was available, and
recommended the use of a headset connected to a cell phone
whenever possible. "We don't want to create a panic,
but it is good to take precautions," he said, adding
that additional research could take another four or five
years. The researchers said that the study does not at this
time prove any health risks. They added: "the genotoxic
and phenotypic effects clearly require further studies ….
on animals and human volunteers."
Previous studies (independent
of the cell phone manufacturers) into the health effects
of cell phone radiation have found that it may have some
effect on the human body. These effects are usually shown
as heating body tissue or causing headaches and nausea.
However, to date no study that has been independently repeated
has shown that cell phone or any other electromagnetic radiation
had permanent harmful effects.
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