This page summarizes, describes, and cites research that links exposure with wireless radiation to specific types of health effects.

Parotid Gland Tumors

According to a 2008 Johns Hopkins University study, the risk of parotid gland tumors (a salivary gland located in the cheek) rises with cell phone use.[1] Since parotid gland tumors grow quickly as compared to brain tumors, scientists may be able to project brain tumor growth.

Dr. Magda Havas of Trent University provides more information about parotid gland tumors in her fact sheet, Mobile Phones: It's Not Just About Brain Tumors.

[1] Duvdevani, Shay 4; Zultan, Ahuva 1; Novikov, Ilya 5; Freedman, Laurence 5; Wolf, Michael 2,4 (C) Cellular Phone Use and Risk of Benign and Malignant Parotid Gland Tumors-A Nationwide Case-Control Study Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health 2008. American Journal of Epidemiology. 167(4):457-467, February 15, 2008.

Reduced Fertility

A study in a fertility clinic found that use of a cell phone in men decrease semen quality by decreasing the sperm count, motility, viability, and normal morphology.  The duration of time on the phone directly impacted the quality of the sperm.[1] The  Cleveland Clinic lead a study involving researchers in Cleveland, New Orleans, and Mubai, India who looked at 360 men having check-ups at fertility clinics.  The study reported that men who used a cell phone for more than 4 hours a day had 25% lower sperm count than men who never used a cell phone.  The men with the highest cell phone usage had greater problems with sperm quality.  The swimming ability of the sperm, a significant factor in conception, was down by 1/3. These men had a 50% drop in the number of properly formed sperm as well.[2] In recent years more than a dozen studies have been published by other groups supporting Cleveland Clinic's findings.

[1] Fertil Steril. 2008 Jan;89(1):124-8. Epub 2007 May 4


Brain Tumors

Between 2002 and 2010, 13 studies concluded that using a cell phone for more than 10 years can increase the risk of developing acoustic neuromas (a benign tumor on the nerve connecting your ear to your brain) and gliomas on the same side of the head as the cell phones were used. (Of 10,000 Americans diagnosed each year with malignant gliomas, about half are alive 1 year after diagnosis, and 25% after two years.) Though the adult risk for cell phone use more than 10 years was found to be more than doubled, a study by Hardell reported that the risk is heightened if a child uses a cell phone.  This study indicated that after only 1 or more years of use there is a 5.2 fold elevated risk in children, whereas for other adult categories the odds ratio was 1.4.[1] Some of the studies covering more than 10 years are part of published reports of the World Health Organization INTERPHONE Study, a 10 year 13 country international assessment of cell phone risks and cancer. The latency period for most brain cancers is expected to be 20 years or more.

[1] [1] Hardell, Lennart (in Sweden), International Journal of Oncology, Meta-Analysis of Mobile Phone Use and the Association of Brain Tumors. 2008, 32(5): 1097-1103.

Brain image on left is subject with cell phone on & placed against the head for 50 minutes.

Research from the February 23, 2011 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association reports that acute exposure to cell phones affects brain function as demonstrated in regions of the brain with increases in glucose metabolism.  Nora D. Volkow, MD lead the team of researchers and compared 47 healthy participants.  With 50-minute cell phone exposure, increased brain glucose metabolism occurred in the region closest to the cell phone antenna.  No brain activity changes occurred when the cell phone was off, and held to the head. Researchers need more information before drawing any conclusions. This research was funded by the National Institutes of Health and US Department of Energy. (Volkow,et al,  Effects of Cell Phone Radiofrequency Signal Exposure on Brain Glucose Metabolism, JAMA, February 23, 2011—Vol 305, No. 8, pp. 808-813)

Over 2300 References to Biological Effects from Microwave and Radiofrequency Radiation

 The "Bibliography of Reported Biological Phenomena (‘Effects’) and Clinical Manifestations attributed to Microwave and Radio-Frequency Radiation” has over 2300 references to biological effects from microwave and radiofrequency radiation and was first released on October 4, 1971.  This Research Report (Project MF12.524.05-0004B, Report No. 2) was commissioned by the Naval Medical Research Institute, and was written by Zorach (“Zory”) R. Glaser, Ph.D., LT, MSC, USNR.

Other Health Effects

In 2007 and 2012, the BioInitiative Working Group, comprised of 14 scientists across the world, concluded its independent science and public health policy review process and produced a 610 page report to document what is known about the biological effects that occur with exposure to low frequency electromagnetic fields (including both radiofrequency radiation and power frequency).

The BioInitaitive Report identified an increased risk of breast cancer in men and women, DNA damage and micronucleation, stress response, pathological leakage of the blood-brain barrier, modified immune system functioning including heightened allergic and inflammatory responses with exposure to radiofrequency radiation and extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields.  To see the full report or the summary for the public, go to

Reported Short-Term Health Effects

 Reported short-term health effects from those exposed to radiofrequency radiation living near cell towers include:



Hormone disruption

Impaired cognition

Difficulty concentrating Inattention


Loss of memory

Impaired behavior





Loss of appetite

 In addition, altered brainwave activity is reported in research.


Consensus Statement from International Scientists - Feb. 2011

The International EMF Alliance recently announced a new published report and scientific Consensus Statement by a consortium of international scientists.  The report, published in the, Reviews on Environmental Health, highly recommends that national governments adopt much lower biologically-based standards for human exposure to electromagnetic fields. Current exposure guidelines are based on physics and only protect from damage associated with a heating effect.  These guidelines are outdated and obsolete.   

Dr. Olle Johannson of the Karolinska Institute is chair of the scientific panel that issued this report. Watch an 18-minute video of him discuss this report at

The report has 10 key findings. 1.  Our worldwide population is insufficiently protected from RFR exposure;

2. Sensitive populations are extra vulnerable;

3. Government actions are urgently warranted now, based on evidence of serious disruptions to biological systems;

4. The burden of proof for the safety of radiation-emitting technologies should fall on producers and providers, not consumers;

5. EMF exposures should be reduced in advance of the 100% complete understanding of how pulsed radiofrequency radiation causes health effects;

6. The current common measure of radiation risk - the specific absorption rate (SAR) - is inadequate, and misguides us on safety and health risks;

7. An international disease registry is needed to track time trends of the incidence of Illnesses to correlate the Illnesses with Exposures;

8. Pre-market health testing and safety demonstration is needed for all radiation-emitting Technologies;

9. There should be parity for occupational exposure standards and standards for the general public;

10. Persons with electrohypersensitivity should be recognized and treated as functionally impaired.

Even if there is a small risk from radiofrequency radiation exposure, with 4 billion cell phone users world –wide and millions more people using a variety of wireless products, the consequences would be profound.


Public health implications of wireless technologies

C. Sage, D.O. Carpenter, Public health implications of wireless technologies, Pathophysiology (2009), doi:10.1016/j.pathophys.2009.01.011


Global exposures to emerging wireless technologies from applications including mobile phones, cordless phones, DECT phones, WI-FI, WLAN,WiMAX, wireless internet, baby monitors, and others may present serious public health consequences. Evidence supporting a public health risk is documented in the BioInitiative Report. New, biologically based public exposure standards for chronic exposure to low-intensity exposures are warranted. Existing safety standards are obsolete because they are based solely on thermal effects from acute exposures. The rapidly expanding development of newwireless technologies and the long latency for the development of such serious diseases as brain cancers means that failure to take immediate action to reduce risks may result in an epidemic of potentially fatal diseases in the future. Regardless of whether or not the associations are causal, the strengths of the associations are sufficiently strong that in the opinion of the authors, taking action to reduce exposures is imperative, especially for the fetus and children. Such action is fully compatible with the precautionary principle, as enunciated by the Rio Declaration, the European Constitution Principle on Health (Section 3.1) and the European Union Treaties Article 174.© 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Full article


Tragedy of the Commons Revisited:  The High Tech-High Risk Wireless World

Cindy Sage, MA, Sage Associates, Santa Barbara, CA, USA

 Reviews on Environmental Health, Volume 25, No. 4, 2010, pp 319-324 Freund Publishing House Ltd.

An excerpt: "Societies must now define carrying capacity for chronic electromagnetic and wireless exposures.  Taking into account there is large individual variability to withstand it, new limits must conserve and sustain the ‘commons of the air’ so that is sustainable for all - and this includes sensitive populations, the young, the elderly, and those with existing sensitivity."

A Case-Case Study of Mobile Phone Use and Acoustic Neuroma Risk in Japan

Yasuto Sato,1 Suminori Akiba,2 Osami Kubo,3 and NaohitoYamaguchi1*

1Department of Public Health, School of Medicine, Tokyo Women’s Medical  University, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan

2Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Kagoshima University  Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Kagoshima City, Kagoshima,  Japan 3Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine, Tokyo Women’s Medical  University, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan

From the abstract: “The increased risk identified for mobile phone users with average call duration >20 min/day should be interpreted with caution, taking into account the possibilities of detection and recall biases. However, we could not conclude that the increased risk was entirely explicable by these biases, leaving open the possibility that mobile phone use increased the risk of acoustic neuroma.”

Effects of mobile phone use on brain tissue from the rat and a possible protective role of vitamin C – a preliminary study


1Department of Biochemistry, Ankara University Faculty of Medicine,

2Department of General Surgery, Ankara Teaching and Research Hospital, and

3Department of General Surgery, Ankara Oncology Teaching and Research Hospital,

Ankara, Turkey

Int. J. Radiat. Biol., Vol. 86, No. 12, December 2010, pp. 1044–1049

Vitamin C may have a protective effect against the adverse effects of cell phones

Free download at

Cell phone use and behavioural problems in young children

J Epidemiol Community Health doi:10.1136/jech.2010.115402

Hozefa A Divan1, Leeka Kheifets2, Carsten Obel3, Jørn Olsen2,3

Published Online First 7 December 2010

From the abstract: “ The findings of the previous publication were replicated in this separate group of participants demonstrating that cell phone use was associated with behavioural problems at age 7 years in children, and this association was not limited to early users of the technology. Although weaker in the new dataset, even with further control for an extended set of potential confounders, the associations remained. “

Int J Radiat Biol. 2015 May 20:1-7. [Epub ahead of print]

Effects of 2.4 GHz radiofrequency radiation emitted from Wi-Fi equipment on microRNA expression in brain tissue.



MicroRNAs (miRNA) play a paramount role in growth, differentiation, proliferation and cell death by suppressing one or more target genes. However, their interaction with radiofrequencies is still unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate the long-term effects of radiofrequency radiation emitted from a Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) system on some of the miRNA in brain tissue.


The study was carried out on 16 Wistar Albino adult male rats by dividing them into two groups such as sham (n = 8) and exposure (n = 8). Rats in the exposure group were exposed to 2.4 GHz radiofrequency (RF) radiation for 24 hours a day for 12 months (one year). The same procedure was applied to the rats in the sham group except the Wi-Fi system was turned off. Immediately after the last exposure, rats were sacrificed and their brains were removed. miR-9-5p, miR-29a-3p, miR-106b-5p, miR-107, miR-125a-3p in brain were investigated in detail.


The results revealed that long-term exposure of 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi radiation can alter expression of some of the miRNAs such as miR-106b-5p (adj p* = 0.010) and miR-107 (adj p* = 0.005). We observed that mir 107 expression is 3.3 times and miR- 106b-5p expression is 3.65 times lower in the exposure group than in the control group. However, miR-9-5p, miR-29a-3p and miR-125a-3p levels in brain were not altered.


Long-term exposure of 2.4 GHz RF may lead to adverse effects such as neurodegenerative diseases originated from the alteration of some miRNA expression and more studies should be devoted to the effects of RF radiation on miRNA expression levels.

Sources for Reported Short-Term Health Effects

TNO Physics and Electronics Laboratory, The Netherlands, Effects of Global Communication System Radio-frequency Fields on Wellbeing and Cognitive Functions of Human Beings With and Without Subjective Complaints, Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (2003), pp. 1–63.

E.S. Altpeter, T.H. Krebs, Study on health effects of the shortwave transmitter station of Schwarzenburg, Bern, Switzerland, University of Bern BEW Publications Study No. 56, The Federal Office of Energy, Switzerland, 1995.


S.E. Chia, Prevalence of headache among handheld cellular telephone users in Singapore: a community study, Environ. Health Persp. 108 (11) (2000) 1059–1062.

 H. Chiang, et al., Health effects of environmental electromagnetic fields, J. Bioelectr. 8 (1989) 127–131.

 H. D’Costa, et al., Human brain wave activity during exposure to radiofrequency field emissions from mobile phones, Aust. Phys. Eng. Sci. Med. 26 (4) (2003).

 H.P. Hutter, H. Moshammer, P.Wallner, M. Kundi, Subjective symptoms, sleeping problems and cognitive performance in subjects living near mobile phone base stations, Occup. Env. Med. 63 (2006) 307–313.

M. Koivisto, et al., Effects of 902MHz electromagnetic field emitted by cellular telephones on response times in humans, Neuroreport 11 (2000) 413–415.

M. Koivisto, et al., The effects of electromagnetic fields emitted by GSM phones on working memory, Neuroreport 11 (2002) 1641– 1643.

A.A. Kolodynski, V.V. Kolodynska, Motor and psychological functions of school children living in the area of the Skrunda radio location station in Latvia, Sci. Total Environ. 180 (1996) 87–93.

C.M. Krause, L. Sillanmaki, M. Koivisto, A. Haggqvist, C. Saarela, A. Revonsuo, M. Laine, H. Hamalainen, Effects of electromagnetic field emitted by cellular phones on the EEG during a memory task, Neuroreport 11 (4) (2000) 761–764.

C.M. Krause, L. Sillanmaki, M. Koivisto, A. Haggqvist, C. Saarela, A. Revonsuo, M. Laine, H. Hamalainen, Effects of electromagnetic fields emitted by cellular phones on the electroencephalogram during a visual working memory task, Int. J. Radiat. Biol. 76 (12) (2000) 1659–1667.

J. Lass, et al., Effects of 7 Hz-modulated 450MHz electromagnetic radiation on human performance in visual memory tasks, Int. J. Radiat. Biol. 73 (10) (2002) 937–944.  A.A. Marino, E. Nilsen, C. Frilot, Nonlinear changes in brain electrical activity due to cell phone radiation, Bioelectromagnetics 24 (5) (2003) 339–346.

 G. Oberfeld, et al., The microwave syndrome—further aspects of a Spanish study, in: Proceedings of the Third InternationalWorkshop on Bioelectromagnetic Effects of Electromagnetic Fields, Kos, Greece, 2004

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