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Mobile phones and possible health impacts


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Imagine life without your mobile? In our fast-paced connected society we need to communicate anytime, from anywhere. Undoubtedly, mobile phones have many advantages and even life saving benefits.

However, people have become addicted to checking their phones constantly, which poses a major distraction while driving, working or socialising. As a health practitioner, I have noticed that most people know their iphone better than their own body!

The concern is that regular prolonged use of mobiles may be detrimental to our health. Whilst the jury is out, there is mounting evidence this small device is not harmless.

What harm can your mobile cause?

When a young woman who had no predisposing risk factors for cancer developed breast cancer, we need to find the causative factor. Whilst it cannot be strictly proven, there is a strong link between the fact that the young woman used to carry her mobile tucked in her bra just above where her breast cancer formed.

Carrying your mobile on your body is a bad idea

When your phone is switched on, there is a continuous exposure to radiation, even when you are not making a call. Carrying your phone around all day is potentially harmful and affects some areas of your body more than others.

In 2009, a study (1) involving 150 participants, showed evidence that following regular exposure to a mobile phone which was attached to their belt, there was decreased bone mineral density in that side of their hip.

Other research (2) published in 2011 suggested reduced sperm count and impaired sperm quality in participants carrying their mobile in their front pockets.

Children are at an increased risk due to their thinner skull which allows for easier penetration of radiation. According to a Swedish study (3) teenagers who used their mobile phone excessively increased their risk of brain cancer.

Mobile phone safety 

The public needs to be better informed with more reliable studies. Could it be that unfavourable studies are not being published? Tobacco companies were highly successful at suppressing the mounting evidence nicotine had on our health. In the meantime, reduce your radiation exposure.

  • Keep mobile phone calls short and use a landline where possible
  • Carry your phone at least 20 cms away from your body
  • Minimise mobile use particularly for children and young adults 


(1) Atay et al 2009, Effect of electromagnetic field induced by radio frequency waves at 900 to 1800 MHz on bone mineral density of iliac bone wings, viewed 19 March 2013,

(2) Ngo, Dong 2011, Report: Cell phone use could reduce sperm count, viewed 19 March 2013,

(3) Hardell et al 2007, Long-term use of cellular phones and brain tumours: increased risk associated with use for > or =10 years, viewed 19 March 2013,





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