Mobile phones and phone towers – are they safe?


Mobile phones and phone towers – are they safe?

Is the radiation from mobile phones and their base stations safe?

To answer that question, Professor Ganesh Jagetia conducted a review of the relevant research and, in a paper published earlier this month, reached some alarming conclusions.

‘The twenty-first century can be regarded as the age of cell/mobile phones,’ he said and pointed out that there are now one and a half mobile phones for every person on the planet!

The radiation from these devices and the base stations that support them adds to the electromagnetic fields found in nature and are more dangerous to human health than the natural fields are. One of the reasons for this that, he says, is that, unlike naturally-occurring radiation, man-made radiation is coherent and polarized.

In his review, Jagetia found studies showing that the radiation from wireless communications did not produce any harmful effects. However, he found more studies showing they did cause harmful effects than those that didn’t. ‘These investigations indicate that WC [wireless communications] EMF radiation has adverse health effects on humans/animals,’ he wrote.

Jagetia referred to research showing that people living near mobile phone towers developed unpleasant symptoms such as:

  • headaches

  • tiredness

  • tinnitus

  • memory, concentration and cognitive problems

  • depression

  • skin problems

  • cardiovascular problems

  • and hormonal issues.

Other research showed that mobile phone use caused ‘tactile hallucinations, dry eyes, De Quervain's tenosynovitis, nomophobia, computer vision syndrome, weakness in thumbs, rigidity of hands, and wrist, stiff neck, insomnia insecurity, delusions, auditory and sleep disturbances, insomnia, hallucinations, reduced self-confidence, anxiety, stress, and mobile phone addiction disorders.’

Further, these problems occurred at levels of exposure allowed by Australian standards and international (ICNIRP) Guidelines and at levels too low to cause the heating effects that they are designed to protect against.

Professor Jagetia also referred to research showing that mobile phone use increased the risk of several types of brain tumours and pointed to increased rates of brain tumours in young people in the USA.

Mobile phone radiation can also have harmful effects on reproduction in humans and animals, he found. He referred to research showing that:

  • female rats, exposed when pregnant, had more dead embryos and foetal damage

  • women exposed during pregnancy had more miscarriages, more children with low birth rates and more preterm births

  • human semen, exposed to mobile phone radiation, had reduced quality, motility and viability

  • rat sperm, exposed to mobile phone radiation, had reduced fertilising ability.

Given the widespread use of mobile phones in society, Professor Jagetia’s findings have important implications for all of us.

Professor Ganesh Jagetia is formerly from the Department of Zoology, Cancer and Radiation Biology Laboratory at Mizoram University in India.

Ganesh Chandra Jagetia, ‘Genotoxic effects of electromagnetic field radiations from mobile phones’, Environmental Research, 2022, 113321, ISSN 0013-9351,

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