“A Cell Phone on Your Hip Weakens Your Bones”
Research suggests that wearing a cell
phone on your hip may weaken an area of your pelvis. Using an X-ray
technique used in the diagnosis and monitoring of patients with osteoporosis,
researchers measured pelvic bone density in 150 men who regularly carried
their cell phones attached to their belts.
The men carried their phones for an average
of 15 hours each day; they had used cell phones for an average of six
The researchers found that bone mineral
density was lowered on the side of the pelvis where the mobile phones
were carried. The findings raise the possibility that bone density could
be adversely affected by electromagnetic fields emitted by cell phones.
WebMD October 27, 2009
Journal of Craniofacial Surgery September
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
When you clip a cell phone to your belt, keeping it conveniently close
by, it likely never crosses your mind that this could be harming your
bones. Or, worse yet, affect your fertility -- particularly if you're
Previous studies have found that cell
phone radiation affects men's sperm count, and the quality and motility
of their sperm, and this may be a far greater issue than its effect
on bone density. Men in particular tend to carry their cell phones on
their belts, in close proximity of their reproductive organs. One such
study, published in PLoS ONE, found that:
"RF-EMR in both the power density
and frequency range of mobile phones enhances mitochondrial reactive
oxygen species generation by human spermatozoa, decreasing the motility
and vitality of these cells while stimulating DNA base adduct formation
and, ultimately DNA fragmentation. These findings have clear implications
for the safety of extensive mobile phone use by males of reproductive
age, potentially affecting both their fertility and the health and wellbeing
of their offspring."
In addition, you have a number of other
sensitive organs in that general area, including liver, kidneys, colon
and bladder -- all of which are susceptible to radiation.
This latest study published in the Journal
of Craniofacial Surgery, found that after carrying a cell phone on their
hip for an average of 15 hours a day over the course of about six years,
male subjects' bone mineral density was slightly lower on the side of
the pelvis where they carried their phones.
The researchers found the reduction in
bone density was not yet statistically significant, but I say "not
yet” because the men in the study were young -- their average
age was 32. And this is only for bone density! There was no measurement
of the important intercellular disruptions that are impaired by wearing
a cell phone on your belt.
So what would happen if they carried
their cell phone on their hip for another 10, 20 or 30 years?
I certainly wouldn’t want to be
the guinea pig who finds out.
It's important to realize that as long
as your cell phone is on, it emits radiation intermittently, even when
you are not actually making a call. So wearing a cell phone on your
hip for 15 hours a day is giving your body nearly continuous radiation
That electromagnetic fields emitted by
cell phones can cause deterioration in your bone density is a major
warning sign of just how dangerous this new technology can be. And although
it may seem like cell phones have been around “forever,”
keep in mind that cell phones have only been used heavily for about
And given that many chronic diseases,
such as osteoporosis and cancer, can take 30 or 40 years to show up,
it’s too soon to know what health effects lie in wait for heavy
cell phone users.
Have You Seen the Science on Cell Phone
Cell phones are used by an estimated
275 million people in the United States and 4 billion worldwide.
Cell phones use a subset of radio frequency
radiation that fall in the microwave range to transmit voice data, and
the dangers of consistent exposure to these microwaves have been known
since at least 1998. Yet few have been willing to accept the evidence,
and the FCC and the cellular industry has followed in the footsteps
of the tobacco industry, ignoring the risks.
It’s worth remembering that the
telecommunication industry is even BIGGER than drug cartels, and they
have far more influence.
My belief is that this exponential increase
in this type of radiation exposure is far more serious a threat than
even tobacco ever was.
The first major indication that cell
phones might be a health hazard came out of a massive, $28-million research
project funded by the Cellular Telephone Industry Association (CTIA).
To the industry’s surprise and dismay, the results of the study
came to the opposite conclusion from the one they were hoping for.
The study's results included findings
A nearly 300 percent increase in the
incidence of genetic damage when human blood cells were exposed to radiation
in the cellular frequency band
A significant increase in cell phone
users’ risk of brain tumors at the brain’s outer edge, on
whichever side the cell phone was held most often
A 60 percent greater chance of acoustic
neuromas, a tumor affecting the nerve that controls hearing, among people
who had used cell phones for six years or more
A higher rate of brain cancer deaths
among handheld mobile phone users than among car phone users (car phones
are mounted on the dashboard rather than held next to your head)
Brain Tumors, DNA Damage and More
Earlier this year, meanwhile, a recent
review of studies, published in the journal Surgical Neurology, assessed
whether there was evidence for an association between long-term cell
phone usage and the risk of developing a brain tumor.
In order to be included in the analysis,
studies were required to have been published in a peer-reviewed journal,
included participants who had used cell phone for 10 or more years,
and analyzed the side of the brain tumor relative to the side of the
head preferred for cell phone usage.
In all 11 long-term epidemiologic studies
were reviewed and the results showed that using a cell phone for 10
or more years approximately doubles the risk of being diagnosed with
a brain tumor on the same side of the head where the cell phone is typically
Few people realize this, but brain cancer
has now surpassed leukemia as the number one cancer killer in children.
Australia has seen an increase in pediatric
brain cancers of 21 percent in just one decade. This is consistent with
studies showing a 40 percent brain tumor increase across the board in
Europe and the U.K. over the last 20 years.
And around this time last year, the head
of the prominent University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute -- Dr. Ronald
B. Herberman -- issued an unprecedented warning to his faculty and staff:
Limit cell phone use because of the possible risk of cancer.
In addition to the widespread concern
about brain cancer, scientists have found that radio waves transmitted
by cell phones and other wireless devices can:
Harm your blood cells and cause cellular
Damage your DNA
Cause nerve-cell damage
Accelerate and contribute to onset of
autism and trigger Alzheimer’s disease
Damage your eyes
Cause sleep disruptions, fatigue and
As it stands, cell phone use is only
increasing, and it seems most people are reluctant to limit their cell
phone use at all. But I suspect this is only because most people are
not aware of the risks … or don’t believe them to be true.
Are Some Cell Phones Safer Than Others?
The Environmental Working Group (EWG)
recently released a new database for consumers ranking over 1,000 cell
phones by the Specific Absorption Rate, known as the SAR value.
The SAR value is a measure of the power
of the cell phone and its potential for heating tissues.
Within days of the EWG launching the
new SAR value database, almost 500,000 people had accessed the database,
indicating very encouraging new interest by consumers in cell phone
But simply choosing a phone with a lower
SAR value does not guarantee the phone is safe. Camilla Rees, founder
of www.Electromagnetichealth.org, explains:
“It is important consumers realize
that the SAR value, while providing information for comparison purposes
between phones, is very limited in its usefulness as a measure of ‘safety.’
We are greatly concerned that people may be turning to the EWG database
in droves not understanding just how limited a measure the SAR value
Why is the SAR value not an accurate
measure of safety?
The SAR value is only comparing the heating
effect of different phones and does not give an indication that a cell
phone is ‘safe.’
The power, or heating effect, of the phone is only one of many possible
factors impacting cell phone ‘safety.’ Exposures to the
radiation from the cell phone at non-heating levels have been linked
to many serious biological effects, and the SAR value is not capturing
anything about these harmful non-thermal exposures.
SAR values are reported to the FCC by the manufacturer and have been
known to vary from the reported number by a factor of two across models
of the same phone.
The SAR value varies with the source of exposure and the person using
the phone. For example, if you are in a rural area or in an elevator
or a car, where the cell phone uses more power, your brain will get
a greater exposure from the higher power required in these instances.
Holding the phone in a slightly different way can actually render the
worst SAR value phone better than the best SAR value phone.
SAR values have been created based on simulations of exposure in a plexiglass
head filled with fluid, not a human head, and many scientists consider
them to be inaccurate and irrelevant at determining actual biological
As Rees points out, and I wholeheartedly agree:
“Physical distance of the phone
from your brain, and less usage of the cell phone overall, more so than
simply choosing a phone with a lower SAR value, is probably a far better
Cell Phone Safety Tips for You and Your
Remember, the damage from cell phone
exposure will take many years to surface, and there are rarely any initial
symptoms, just like smoking and lung cancer.
At this point, you cannot completely
avoid wireless radiation from all sources, such as WI-FI, since they’re
so pervasive. Getting rid of your cell phone altogether can help protect
you. But even if you don’t want to take that step, you can still
minimize your exposure and reduce your risks by following these common
Children Should Never Use Cell Phones:
Barring a life-threatening emergency, children should not use a cell
phone, or a wireless device of any type. Children are far more vulnerable
to cell phone radiation than adults for a number of reasons.
First, their thinner skull bones allow
for greater penetration of radiation. The radiation can enter all the
way into the midbrain, where tumors are more deadly. In addition, children's
cells reproduce more quickly, so they're more susceptible to aggressive
cell growth. Their immune systems are also not as well developed as
adults. Lastly, children face a far greater lifetime exposure.
The following image, used with permission
from the book Public Health SOS: The Shadow Side of the Wireless Revolution,
clearly shows the differences in depth of penetration between adults
and young children.
Reduce Your Cell Phone Use: Turn your
cell phone off more often. Reserve it for emergencies or important matters.
Use A Land Line At Home And At Work:
Although more and more people are switching to using cell phones as
their exclusive phone contact, it is a dangerous trend and you can choose
to opt out of the madness.
Reduce or Eliminate Your Use of Other
Wireless Devices: You would be wise to cut down your use of these devices.
Just as with cell phones, it is important to ask yourself whether or
not you really need to use them every single time.
It's important to realize that portable
phones are also highly problematic. Recent research has linked portable
house phones to an increased heart rate in people who are electromagnetically
sensitive. In some individuals, portable phone exposure as much as doubled
their heart rate in double-blind tests. This groundbreaking research
has been accepted for publication and is expected to come out around
February or March of next year, along with a large number of other studies
focusing on the mechanisms of action to explain the biological damage
we see from this type of radiation.
If you must use a portable home phone,
consider using very early non-DECT versions of portable phones. Unfortunately,
due to the lack of labeling, the only way to know for sure whether the
type of phone you have is safe, is to measure the amount of radiation
emitted. Www.emfsafetystore.com offers a helpful summary of the various
Use Your Cell Phone Only Where Reception
is Good: The weaker the reception, the more power your phone must use
to transmit. And the more power it uses, the more radiation it emits,
and the deeper the dangerous radio waves penetrate into your body. Ideally,
you should only use your phone with full bars and good reception.
Turn Your Cell Phone Off When Not in
Use: As long as your cell phone is on, it emits radiation intermittently,
even when you are not actually making a call.
Keep Your Cell Phone Away From Your Body
When it is On: The most dangerous place to be, in terms of radiation
exposure, is within about six inches of the emitting antenna. You do
not want any part of your body within that area.
It's worth noting that your cell phone
manual will actually tell you the minimum safety range of operation
for your phone, even when not in use. For example, the iPhone states
the phone must be at least 5/8 inch away from your body or ear for "safe
operation." Almost all of them state that the cell phone "should
NOT be worn or carried on the body." You can find more information
about this in the white paper Cellphones and Brain Tumors -- 15 Reasons
for Concern., page 16.
Use Safer Headset Technology: Wired headsets
will certainly allow you to keep the cell phone farther away from your
body. However, if a wired headset is not well-shielded -- and most of
them are not -- the wire itself acts as an antenna attracting ambient
radiation and transmitting radiation, not only directly to your brain,
but also all along your torso.
The best kind of headset to use is a
combination shielded wire and air-tube headset. These operate like a
stethoscope, transmitting the information to your head as an actual
sound wave; although there are wires that still must be shielded, there
is no wire that goes all the way up to your head.
Use a Shielded Case: There are some shielded
cases on the market, but you could also purchase a certain kind of EMF-shielding
fabric, available at www.emfsafetystore.com. Making a pouch from this
fabric to put inside your regular case can help shield up to 99.9 percent
of the radiation emitted if you cover the entire phone and antenna.
If you wrap most of the phone but
leave the antenna out, you'd still achieve a significant reduction in
radiation, but it would not be nearly as effective as wrapping up the
entire phone. This is a particularly useful solution to significantly
reduce unnecessary radiation exposure if you simply must carry the phone
on your body.