Mobile phones are a major source of radio frequency radiation

Data communication between the mobile phone and the base station takes place via radio waves. A portion of the energy of radio waves is absorbed in the user’s body, as the phone is kept close to the body when the phone is used. The only scientifically verified effect of radio waves is the warming up of the tissue.

Under no conditions do mobile phone warm human tissue to such an extent that this would have medical consequences. Radio waves from a mobile phone operating at full power cause a rise of 0.3 degrees at the maximum in the temperature measured on the surface of the brain. The temperature of the body normally varies one degree up and down; in other words, clearly more.

The exposure created by a mobile phone is at its highest level when the reception is poor and the phone is held next to the user’s ear. With few exceptions, exposure created by other methods is clearly weaker. For example, when users are browsing the Internet or writing an instant message, their exposure to radiation is negligible as they are holding the phone in their hands a certain distance away from their body and the device is send-ing information relatively infrequently. Exposure can be significantly higher if the user keeps the phone in his or her pocket and simultaneously speaks using a hands free device or shares the phone’s network connection with another device such as a tablet (known as tethering).

The level of exposure to radiation from a mobile phone held next to user’s ear can ap-proach the exposure limits. Never before have humans been exposed to equally strong sources of radiation in their living environments. Identifying any health impacts is highly important because practically everybody uses a mobile phone today.

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  • Sami Kännälä / Senior Scientist
    Tel. +358975988531