The answer to this question is mostly yes, from what we know. Mobile phone EMFs are considered to be safe (as of now), but not without some caveats — it depends on how much you use your cell phone.
Cell phones are one of the most popular forms of radiation-emitting devices in the world today. They come in many different shapes and sizes, with some being more powerful than others. Cell phones emit electromagnetic fields (EMF) from their antenna and battery.
However, not all cell phones are created equally. Some designs more efficiently transmit and receive signals, while others have come with a battery life that lasts longer on each charge. The latter type of phone emits less radiation than the former type of phone, which means that it will also emit less EMF over time.
The amount of radiation emitted by a cell phone varies depending on several factors, including (but not limited to):
- How much power it uses when transmitting or receiving signals
- The frequency at which it sends or receives signals (e.g., GSM vs. CDMA)
- Whether or not it uses Wi-Fi technology
The main concerns with mobile phones are the potential to cause brain tumors and other health problems. While it’s true that there are not yet conclusive risks, many experts agree that there is some evidence that suggests a link between mobile phone EMFs and these health problems.
There are also general concerns about wireless technology’s safety, including Wi-Fi routers, baby monitors, and cordless phones. But, the evidence showing harm from wireless devices is not as straightforward as the link of mobile phones to health issues like brain tumors or leukemia.
What are Electric & Magnetic Fields (EMFs) and Are They Safe?
Electromagnetic fields are invisible energy waves in the air around us. They can travel through anything made of metal — everything from your cell phone to your microwave oven to a car engine — and can cause health problems if exposed to them long-term.
The most hazardous type of EMF exposure comes from microwaves or cell phones because these produce very high-frequency waves (higher than gamma rays or X-rays) that penetrate tissues and organs, where they can damage DNA and other cellular molecules.
The best way to protect yourself from EMFs is to keep your phone away from your head. If you can’t do that, use a headset. And, if you still need to use your phone while wearing it, turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
Since the 20th century, there has been a rising number of electro & magnetic field (EMF) sources, including mobile phones and other electrical devices, medical equipment, and many more items we use daily. Although these new technologies have become unavoidable, the EMF they emit risks human health.
Modern telecommunications no longer function without mobile phones. Radio frequencies are sent by mobile phones using a base station network, which is a compilation of permanent antennas.
Over the past two decades, numerous research has been conducted to determine whether mobile phone EMFs may harm users’ health. However, there is no proven case yet.
Now, let’s take a deep dive into what EMFs are and how mobile phone EMFs can affect the body.
The Types of EMFs
EMFs are invisible energy fields created from electricity and other types of artificial and natural illuminations.
Electromagnetic fields are invisible and can travel through walls, water, and even people. They are created by electric currents or magnetic fields and contain electromagnetic radiation, a form of energy.
Electromagnetic fields’ unit of measurement is watts per square meter (W/m2). The International System of Units (SI) defines this unit as 1 joule per square meter (J/m2). The electromagnetic field strength unit of measurement is milligauss (mG) or microtesla (μT). There are many different types of electromagnetic fields (EMF).
The most common types include:
- Giant Magneto-Electric Fields (GMEFs): can originate from power lines, transformers, and electrical equipment. Appliances like hair dryers and microwave ovens can also generate them.
- Low-Frequency Electromagnetic Fields (ELFs): referred to as “dirty electricity.” They are generated by fluorescent bulbs, motor vehicles such as cars and trucks, computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices.
- High-Frequency Electromagnetic Fields (HEMFs): mainly created by electrical devices such as computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices.
According to their frequency, EMFs are often divided into one of two categories:
- Non-ionizing EMFs: low-level radiation, which is typically thought to be safe for humans (this is where mobile phone EMFs fall)
- Ionizing EMFs: high-level radiation that carries a risk of damaging DNA and cells
Are Mobile Phone EMFs Safe?
There is no certain answer yet. The use of mobile phones is widespread, with an estimated 6.9 billion subscriptions worldwide. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified mobile phone EMFs as potential human carcinogens. Although, studies are still being conducted to better understand the long-term consequences of using mobile phones.
What Dangers Do Mobile Phones Pose to Our Health?
Research has largely focused on the potential impacts of mobile phone exposure. Exposure to the radiofrequency (RF) fields radiated by these devices is typically more than a thousand times higher than that from base stations, and any negative effects are more likely to be caused by phones.
Below are some potential problems associated with mobile phone ends:
- Additional health effects
- Electromagnetic interference
- Traffic accidents
The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified radiofrequency (RF) fields as probably carcinogenic to humans based on conflicting epidemiological data on a link between exposure to RF radiation from wireless phones. According to studies, there is no evidence that being exposed to RF fields from base stations or other environmental sources increases the chance of developing cancer or any other disease.
Additional Health Effects
Other negative health effects of mobile phone use documented by scientists include their impact on the brain, sleep patterns, and reaction patterns. These side effects are insignificant, and no evidence shows they can affect health. But, more research is being done to try to verify these results.
Some medical devices, such as implantable defibrillators and specific hearing aids, may experience interference if mobile phones are used close to them. Additionally, there is a chance that mobile phone signals could interfere with an airplane. Some nations have legalized using phones while flying, using mechanisms that reduce the phone’s power.
According to research, using a cell phone while driving increases the likelihood of traffic accidents by about a three to fourfold margin.
Are EMFs Safe? Symptoms of Exposure to EMFs
It’s not certain if EMFs are safe or not. Even though several studies haven’t been sure if EMFs are safe or not, the following signs have been stated to possibly be present:
- Changes in memory
- Depression and depressive symptoms
- Lack of concentration
- Skin burning
- Dysesthesia and so on
Protection Against EMF Exposure
Depending on the type of radiation, there are several steps you may take to decrease your exposure to EMFs.
According to WHO trusted sources, low-frequency and radiofrequency EMFs are unlikely to have any negative health impacts. This means mobile phone EMFs and other electronics should feel secure if you maintain a reasonable distance from them.
Keeping a safe distance from appliances is one of the greatest methods to reduce your exposure to EMFs in your house. To turn on the television or microwave, open your refrigerator, or put anything in the washing machine, you must get close.
Just make these encounters brief, and neither you nor your children should sit too close to appliances.
What Emits EMFs?
Different voltages produce electric fields. Magnetic fields are formed when electric current flows: the more substantial the current, the higher the magnetic field.
Even when no current flows, there will still be an electric field. If the current does flow, the magnetic field’s strength will change depending on how much energy is used, but the electric field’s strength will remain constant.
Are EMFs Emitted by Mobile Phones, Vehicles, and Other Electronic Devices?
It’s crucial to realize that all electrical appliances produce radiation and have magnetic fields. This holds true for batteries in gas and electric cars, as well as the cell phone in your hand.
Mobile phones EMFs, EMR in electric vehicles, microwaves, refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, and so on are referred to as ELFs, or extremely low-frequency radiation. Numerous research studies have been conducted on this non-ionizing radiation type, however, the results have been inconsistent.
A publication that asserts a discovery of a connection between negative health effects and ELFs is frequently subject to harsh criticism. On the other side, many papers do not detect a correlation. The most thorough investigation was carried out by the EM Safety research project, which was sponsored by the EU.
Despite the lack of concrete data, the WHO opted to categorize ELFs as “potentially cancer-causing.” Although limiting ELF exposure would be beneficial, an immediate threat is not something being considered.
Are EVs and Tesla’s EMFs Safe? What the Science Says
Tesla vehicles produce ELFs as they run because they have electric motors. The ELFs and magnetic fields were strongest near the car’s floor, and their intensity rapidly decreased as they measured higher up, as shown by the EU-based research with eleven cars.
Even at floor level, the magnetic field directly on the car’s floor measured at only 20% of the ICNIRP’s recommended exposure level. The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection is dedicated to identifying the harmful health consequences and appropriate exposure levels for all types of non-ionizing radiation.
Additionally, readings at head height barely registered at 2% of the ICNIRP’s maximum recommended exposure level. In essence, EVs and Teslas only reach 20% and 2% at the floor level and head level, respectively, of the cautious restrictions set by numerous organizations throughout the world.
There is currently no link between mobile phone EMFs and an increased risk of brain tumors. Future research into this topic is necessary, given the growing popularity of mobile devices and the paucity of data for use over more than 15 years.
The WHO has encouraged additional research on this population and is currently evaluating the health impact of radiofrequency fields on all studied endpoints. The main concentration of the research is the recent rise in popularity of mobile phone use among younger people and the concerns about the long-term effects of extended use.