Health Effects of Mobile Phone Usage

Health Effects of Mobile Phone Usage

Angelo Levis (Padova University, Italy & Associazione Per la Protezione e la Lotta all'Elettrosmog (A.P.P.L.E), Italy), Laura Masiero (Associazione Per la Protezione e la Lotta all'Elettrosmog (A.P.P.L.E), Italy), Paolo Orio (Associazione Italiana Elettrosensibili (AIE), Italy), Susan Biggin (Institute of Physics (IOP), UK) and Spiridione Garbisa (Padova University, Italy)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8239-9.ch051


Uncertainty about the association between health risks and exposure to radiofrequency radiation emitted by cellular and cordless mobile phones can be addressed by a critical analysis of the methodology used in studies assessing this relationship. Studies funded by cellphone companies give reassuring conclusions but are affected by biases and flaws, whereas public-funded studies are without these errors and show acute and chronic effects, including head tumors, findings supported by biological evidence.
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According to the International Telecommunications Union, by the end of 2013 the number of cellphone subscriptions reached 6.8 billion, with 4.4 billion users, half being children and young adults. There are no data for cordless phones, but 3 billion users is a reasonable assumption. Given these figures, even a modest increase (20%) in tumor risk for MP users would result in significant social costs, while higher risks could lead to a crisis of dramatic proportions. While most technologies carry risks, these should be assessed accurately and responsibly. Whether or not there is a relationship between MP use and head tumor risk is still under debate: progress requires a critical analysis of the methodological elements essential to any impartial evaluation of contradictory results.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Causation Link: Causal relationship between conduct and result.

Electromagnetic Fields: A physical field produced by electrically charged objects; it affects the behavior of charged objects in the vicinity.

Business Bias: When information is not correct because of the method used by business subject(s) in collecting or presenting it.

Precautionary Principle: If an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment – in the absence of scientific consensus that the action or policy is not harmful – then the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking the action; “better safe than sorry”.

Radiofrequencies: Rate of oscillation in the range of ca 3 kHz to 300 GHz.

Mobile Phones: Cell and cordless phones.

Conflicts Of Interest: A set of circumstances that creates a risk that professional judgment or actions regarding a primary interest will be unduly influenced by a secondary interest.

Electrohypersensitivity: Multi-organ adverse reaction to EMF.

Head Tumors: Gliomas, meningiomas, acoustic neuromas.

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