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cell phone radiation

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Anonymous
May 7, 2002 8:39:44 PM

I know the studies that have been done on cell phone radiation have been inconclusive up to now, but I'd that I should try to minimize my exposure anyway. What i'm wondering is if cell phones emit any radiation when they are off. I always thought they didn't, but I remember someone telling me that they did. How about when they're in standby? If they do emit radiation in these states, is it the same amount as when you're talking or is it reduced? And couln't theoretically get cancer in any part of your body depending on where you put your phone? If you put in your pocket, would you be suspectible to colon cancer or something?

What I tend to do to try minimizing my exposure is using a hand's free headset when I can and keeping the phone on a desk or something. I remember reading that the amount of radiation you pick up by the phone is greatly reduced as you get just a little farther away from the phone.

And finally, do those radiation protector things they sell at the supermarket and pharmacies work? I bought one that's called "Ear Guard" and it says "protective net" underneath it. It sticks to your ear piece with an adhesive and has a sort of net that allows you to still hear through the phone. It claims that it blocks 99% of radiation or something. I sort of doubt the effectivness of this product because it seems like all it covers is the earpiece, still leaving the rest of your body susceptible to radiation. I don't remember what exactly it was made up, however. I believe there is some sort of gel in it, but I don't remember exactly. I figured I'd just ask some of you guys if anyone has any information.

More about : cell phone radiation

May 7, 2002 11:01:47 PM

Your tin foil hat is crooked.

<font color=blue>Hi mom!</font color=blue>
May 7, 2002 11:06:07 PM

Too late. He has been nuked.


:smile: <b><font color=blue> I took an I.Q. test today...It came back negative.</font color=blue></b> :lol: 
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Anonymous
May 8, 2002 12:56:45 AM

ok, so you can stop making fun of me and give me some sort of answer?
May 8, 2002 1:30:07 AM

You want a answer to an inconclusive radiation study to see if a device that is on the market
will protect you from something that hasn't been proven to be harmful. If that is the question,
who knows.

:smile: <b><font color=blue> I took an I.Q. test today...It came back negative.</font color=blue></b> :lol: 
Anonymous
May 8, 2002 2:22:59 AM

Well it undisputed that cell phones emit radiation. The question that hasn't been answered is if that amount of radiation is enough to cause cancer. What am I asking is if those aftermarket devices are effective in blocking radiation, so that way I don't have to worry about the potential risk for cancer if indeed that amount of radiation is indeed enough for cancer.

I believe I had some other legitamite questions as well. I wanted to know if cell phones emitted radiation if they were off or in standby mode.

Sure, nothing has been proven yet, but I'd rather be safe than sorry. That's why I'ma asking these questions.
May 8, 2002 9:59:14 AM

Sometimes it really can't hurt to think or check your sources. I realize that you're being laughed at, but there is a good reason for this. No radiation is emitted that can possibly hurt you. If you are worried about radiation from a cell phone then you better be careful since the sun emits more harmful radiation than your cell phone. You should probably consider changing your diet, staying inside, and living in a bubble if you truly want to avoid cancer. The cell phone is the least of your worries.

Seriously, think before you post an <A HREF="http://www.urbanlegends.com/medical/cell_phones_brain_c..." target="_new">urban legend</A>. A tin foil hat is not going to help you.


<font color=red>THGC: Everything from anal applications of peanut butter to marriage counseling</font color=red>
Anonymous
May 8, 2002 8:12:27 PM

Yeah, those are the thing I have read, but the thing is there has been really no long term studies. What stands out in my opinion, is that back in the early 20th century and 19th century cancer rates were much lower than they are now. There are probably a few reasons for this such as use of pesticides, increased air travel, and the dramatic increase in all types of electronics. We're obviously doing something that is causing a great increase in cancer rates, and I believe it's reasonable to assume that cell phones could just be another device to add to the ever growing list of things to worry about. Some people point out that microwaves also emit radiation but not everyone who uses a microwave ends up with cancer. I'm not disupting this, but the fact that we're just constantly incresaing our exposure to all sorts of carcinogens is a bit disturbing.
May 8, 2002 9:16:31 PM

So stay inside all the time, since (as dhlucke said) the sun gives out the most radiation.

You're chasing away the squirrels on the sidewalk and ignoring the large bear sitting in your armchair.

<font color=blue>Hi mom!</font color=blue>
Anonymous
May 8, 2002 10:03:40 PM

you're missing the point, for thousands of years cancer hasn't been as prevalent as it is now. And not because they stayed inside the whole day (they probably spent more time outside than we do) but because they exposed themselves to less carcinogens than we do. of course there's no way to totally avoid all of these potential risks, but I'm just saying why not avoid them when you can.


oh yeah btw, I don't spend much time in the sun anyway, not because i am constantly worrying about getting a cancer, but just thinking about my lifestyle, I end up spending more time inside than outside, which I'm sure is true for many other people nowadays.
<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by henryo11 on 05/08/02 06:10 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
May 9, 2002 2:03:58 AM

Wow, you're scaring me. You really should get out more. That's very unhealthy. The body needs to be exposed to fresh air and green vegetation.

If you want to avoid cancer, live in the country and get plenty of fresh air and exercise, don't smoke, don't eat packaged foods but rather grow your own food, and please stop stressing about completely stupid stuff.

If something is going to kill you, it's going to be a heart attack, not cancer.

Quote:
Some people point out that microwaves also emit radiation but not everyone who uses a microwave ends up with cancer.


Let me explain some basic physics to you. Light, the stuff coming from the sun, is radiation. Depending on the wavelength of the photons, we designate it a different type of radiation ranging from very powerful and narrow gamma rays to very long radio waves. So if you're worried about radiation in general, you're sol. You're constantly bombarded with all kinds of radiation and cosmic rays. The microwave does emit radiation. Microwave radiation. It's well shielded and you don't have to worry about it. The doses are very low. When you get an x-ray you're bombarded by x-rays. These are bad for you, which is why they shield you with lead and don't expose you for very long. Nuclear bombs emit all kinds of horrible radiation which is what kills those not hit by the blast. Your TV emits radiation as does your 900 MHz phone. The reason you wear sunscreen is to avoid a sunburn, and that's caused by UV waves. As long as you’re worried about radiation, why not worry about electric and magnetic fields?

If you're truly worried about cell phones then I would suggest the following:

Find an old mine shaft, a deep one, and move there. Don't use any type of electronics, and don't ever ever go outside. You'll unfortunately still be hit by neutrinos, but hey, you'll have ellimated all other radiation right?

Cancer is your worry (carcinogens) and cell phones are not the problem. It's lazy people who don't go outside and receive a healthy dose of sunlight and exercise, people who eat poorly, smoke, and are exposed to wastes in their environment like smog and preservatives in their food. Your monitor, cell phone, and microwave will not give you cancer. Go outside and live your life!


<font color=red>I have a computer and it does weird stuff. please help.</font color=red>
May 9, 2002 7:54:56 PM

I belive his tin foil hat is now torn. I can make him a new one but I might keep it myself. I heard that radio waves may cause a serious case of hot dog fingers!!!

:tongue: <font color=red>I invented the internet and bacon.</font color=red> :tongue:
May 9, 2002 7:56:43 PM

Now I am afraid the sky will fall.

:lol:  <b><font color=blue>Welcome to</font color=blue> <font color=red>Fredi's</font color=red><font color=blue> place.</font color=blue></b> :lol: 
Anonymous
May 9, 2002 9:23:31 PM

well i think you're getting somewaht of a wrong impression of what i stated. it seems as if you're taking the argument to an absurd level.

As for the whole staying inside thing. Well if you think about it I go to school from 7:40-2:20 and the only time you get out there is at lunch. After school I usually drive over to a friend's house and chill there for awhile and then i normally go home. I play two instruments so I have to practice those and then do my homework and other household chores. So when I go out it's usually at night or when I'm gettin in the car to go someplace else. On weekends I end up usually working or goin to a friend's house too, so you see the amount of time spent inside is more than one would think, especially in the winter. The summer is somewhat of a different story. Since i've been in this winter mode lately I haven't really been thinking about what i do in the summer but I don't spend the whole summer indoors. I go out to the beach once in awhile and swim in the pool, but i'm not the type who sits outside and tries to get tan for 3 hours a day.

As for all the other things you mentioned, I'm well aware of those factors too, explaining why I don't go tanning and things like that. I'm also aware that the area in which I live has a high amount of pesticides in the water and is totally another thing to worry about. We use some water filters in my house, though, so hopefully that reduces the risk.

The reason I question cell phone use, is that it is a device that is becomming more and more a part of life that is unavoidable. You can avoid UV rays by either staying out of the sun or wearing sunscreen. You can avoid lung cancer by not smoking. But reliance on cell phones seems to be increasing so I wanted to know the risks involved with it and I thought that the people on this board were being a little to quick on the judgement over these things.

BTW, do you have any sort of comparison on how much radiation is actually emitted. For instance, they say that a flight across the United States account for about half of the amount of radiation one should be exposed to in one year. Are there any similar statistics for cell phones or any other devices for that matter.
i'm just basically trying to reduce any unneccesary risks.
May 9, 2002 9:38:30 PM

Quote:
it seems as if you're taking the argument to an absurd level.


It started at an absurd level, dhlucke didn't take it anywhere.

Quote:
For instance, they say that a flight across the United States account for about half of the amount of radiation one should be exposed to in one year.


I <i>really</i> doubt that. I know plenty of people who fly a lot more than that and don't have cancer.

<font color=blue>Hi mom!</font color=blue>
Anonymous
May 9, 2002 9:46:38 PM

Well how did it start at an absurd level? I wanted to know if they had any sort of effects on your health so I decided to ask you guys. Then I have people mocking me telling me to wear tin hats and live in caves. I just want to know the extent of any risks that may be out there, trying to be informed and then I have people like you just making fun of me for asking a legit question.

And for the whole flying thing, well those facts are based on what the government deems acceptable. I have no idea exactly that is but I learned that in a chemistry class. The reasons for the increase in the amount of radiation exposure while flying is because you are closer to the sun and are no longer protected by the ozone in the atmosphere. And I am not sure about this but I have heard that flight attendants are more likely to become sterile. But that's not the point anyway, I was wondering if you had a way to put cell phone radiation into a similar context, rather than just saying it's minimal. How do you know?

and by the way, how in the world do you reply to so many posts? It seems like you post replies to every message on this website. Do you work for tomshardware?

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by henryo11 on 05/09/02 06:12 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
May 9, 2002 11:32:24 PM

Quote:
And for the whole flying thing, well those facts are based on what the government deems acceptable. I have no idea exactly that is but I learned that in a chemistry class. The reasons for the increase in the amount of radiation exposure while flying is because you are closer to the sun and are no longer protected by the ozone in the atmosphere. And I am not sure about this but I have heard that flight attendants are more likely to become sterile.


Do you have any proof of this? UV rays shouldn't come into effect, since you're inside the airplane.

Quote:
and by the way, how in the world do you reply to so many posts? It seems like you post replies to every message on this website. Do you work for tomshardware?


Most of my posts are done by trained monkeys, actually. I've got 6 of them, and I give them a banana for every intelligent post. I've only had to give out two since I registered :lol: 

<font color=blue>Hi mom!</font color=blue>
May 9, 2002 11:48:54 PM

Can I buy a monkey from you?

:tongue: <font color=red>I invented the internet and bacon.</font color=red> :tongue:
May 9, 2002 11:59:14 PM

Sorry, they're too much work to train. I can tell you where to buy sea monkeys, but they can't post very well.

<font color=blue>Hi mom!</font color=blue>
May 10, 2002 12:38:39 AM

I'm pretty sure the ozone layer is a little higher up than any plane can fly. I don't know about you but I'm more worried about getting into my mobile death trap every day than I am about cancer.

:tongue: <font color=red>I invented the internet and bacon.</font color=red> :tongue:
Anonymous
May 10, 2002 7:16:27 PM

your "mobile death trap"?
Anonymous
May 10, 2002 7:21:35 PM

I don't know how it worked, it's just what I remembered from that class. and i all i really wanted to know was how cell phones affected one's health. i wasn't asking for an explanation of how I am going to die, i just wanted to be able to evaluate if there was a danger present in cell phones or not. there was no need for any of that "you're gonna die from this anyway" crap. I'm well aware that there are many other dangers in the world to worry about, but again, I was just curious about the cell phone itself. I wanted to be able to see its affects independent of other factors like the ones you mentioned.
May 10, 2002 7:25:57 PM

He means his car.

<font color=blue>Hi mom!</font color=blue>
Anonymous
May 10, 2002 7:48:13 PM

"Sometimes it really can't hurt to think or check your sources."

I mentioned that the studies were inconclusive so it's not like I'm claiming that cell phones = cancer.
May 10, 2002 11:59:07 PM

Once again, you're just freaking yourself out. Seriously, I'm being very direct here, you need to stop worrying about stupid stuff like this. It's not an attack, but someone who actually understands radiation telling you to not worry about it.

I can take your airplane argument and do one of two things. I can tell you that you are getting less radiation or more radiation. Which would you prefer?

Like I said before, there is a whole spectrum of radiation and you will NEVER ever get away from all of it. By avoiding one, you will most likely get more of the next.

In an airplane, you DO NOT receive more UV radiation, which I believe is what you are thinking. However, you do receive more cosmic rays. An airplane pilot who does a couple hundred flights a year across the Atlantic gets the equivalent of a couple chest x-rays.

However, by being in an airplane you receive LESS radiation from the uranium in the earth that is heating it from the core. So take your pick. Do you want uranium radiation or cosmic rays?

Once again, your cell phone is not going to emit any harmful radiation. Don't worry about it. You'll die from a heart attack and ulcers if you listen to every urban legend. You can stick it anywhere you want and it will still emit the same negligable radiation. I don't think it emits anything when it's off, but in standby it's communicating with a station somewhere to keep your clock updated most likely. Are you worried about the remote control for your TV as well?

<font color=red>I have a computer and it does weird stuff. please help.</font color=red>
May 11, 2002 12:01:48 AM

Quote:
The reasons for the increase in the amount of radiation exposure while flying is because you are closer to the sun and are no longer protected by the ozone in the atmosphere. And I am not sure about this but I have heard that flight attendants are more likely to become sterile.


No

<font color=red>I have a computer and it does weird stuff. please help.</font color=red>
Anonymous
May 11, 2002 12:11:30 AM

alright, well why couldn't i have gotten a clear and simple answer from the beginning. how am i supposed to know if this is urban legend or not. i mean you hear a lot about it in the news and there are these "SAR" limits but i have no idea what the hell they mean. And every study just says it's "inconclusive" so I was wondering how you were so sure about your claims about how much radiation is actually emitted.
May 11, 2002 12:40:27 AM

If I hear something that sounds a bit like an urban legend I'll generally check. Usually it is. Your radiation in an airplane question is legitimate, but what you didn't know is that it's not UV radiation but cosmic radiation that you get more of. Nonetheless, the rumor or legend, and the way it's interpreted is that it's UV radiation. Common sense would debunk this though. Have you ever gotten a sunburn on a plane?

<font color=red>I have a computer and it does weird stuff. please help.</font color=red>
Anonymous
May 11, 2002 10:13:32 PM

I don't know, I just thought the whole cell phone thing was legit because all of the reports I have read have stated that results were inconclusive, none have stated outright that there is absolutely no danger. And the general advice from my health and biology teachers was to probably not use your cell phone all the time. Additionally, it just seems like common sense not to expose yourself to radiation if possible. Do you know exactly what those "SAR" limits mean though? They just give you a number but there doesn't seem to be any comparison as to what that number means.
May 12, 2002 1:32:57 AM

Find out what frequency your cell phone operates at. It's the frequency (or wavelength) of the radiation that will determine if there is any threat. Shorter wavelenths (gamma rays for example) are more dangerous than longer wavelengths (radio for example).

<font color=red>I have a computer and it does weird stuff. please help.</font color=red>
Anonymous
May 13, 2002 7:59:04 PM

Well, my phone is pretty standard it operates in CDMA 1900MHz, CDMA 800MHz, and Analog 800MHz.
May 14, 2002 5:02:26 AM

Your microwave operates at 2.45 Ghz. Your cell phone still operates in the radio band. The wavelength is 1 meter roughly. Compare this to something dangerous like a gamma ray (high energy radiation) that is 0.00000001 meters and smaller. On the less extreme range UV light ranges from 0.0000001 meters - 0.00000001 meters.

You're very safe. If you look at your microwave, there is a grating that is designed to not allow microwaves (.1m wavelength) to escape. It works like a diffraction grating in which the spacing in the grating is smaller than the wavelength of the microwave, thus they just "reflect" and stay inside the microwave. Your cell phone is comparable to the VHF of your TV only a little bit stronger than that. Satellites transmit at frequencies in the microwave. Your cordless home phone operates at frequencies comparable to your cell phone or even higher.

<font color=red>I have a computer and it does weird stuff. please help.</font color=red>
Anonymous
May 14, 2002 8:09:26 PM

So then the ONLY factor to evaluate in determining the amount of radiation in electronic devices is the wavelength at which it operates?

And it is higher frequencies, which have shorter wavelengths right?
May 14, 2002 9:37:32 PM

Wavelength is inversly proportional to frequency and visa versa so if one gets bigger the other is smaller. That's a mathematical interpretation at least. Energy is directly proportional to frequency, so the higher the frequency, the higher the energy in the radiation. The more energy, the more dangerous.

Yeah, the wavelength is what is important, but also intensity. So a low dosage of x-rays for example, won't kill you, but a high dosage will. In the case of high energy radiation, the wavelength is comparable to the size of a molecule or atom so you really have to be carefull. In the case of household appliances you're talking about low intensities and long wavelengths. That doesn't mean that you can stick your cat in the microwave, but it does mean that you're safe using a microwave and a cell phone on a regular basis.

<font color=red>I have a computer and it does weird stuff. please help.</font color=red>
Anonymous
May 14, 2002 9:50:27 PM

ok, i guess it's good to know that...but if that's the case why do they do studies on cell phones then, if one can determine it's health risks based solely on the information you just provided.
May 15, 2002 4:49:46 AM

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess it was because of money. Somebody funded somebody to do a study. Nonetheless, if the one article I linked to above is correct, this whole thing started because somebody called a talkshow and claimed they got a brain-tumor from using a cell phone. They figured that since their tumor was in the same spot they put their phone, then obviously that must be how they got it.

<font color=red>I have a computer and it does weird stuff. please help.</font color=red>
Anonymous
May 15, 2002 6:35:41 PM

interesting.....but you don't think that after years of exposure to things like microwaves, computer monitors, tvs, phones, etc.that eventually it would all build up and cause health problems?

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by henryo11 on 05/15/02 02:37 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
May 16, 2002 12:17:59 AM

I'm not very familiar with biology so I'm only making an educated guess here.

This is more of a biology question than physics, but I worry more about my cells being damaged and my immune system being incapacitated in large enough numbers where it could affect me. If your cell phone was to actually do some damage, it would be to a very small amount of cells (one can't discount the fact that anything is possible), and your body should be able to cope with that quite well. That's even assuming that the radiation reacts to your body. Ideally, radiation of the same wavelength as your cell size would be the biggest problem and like I've showed above, cellphones and microwaves don't fit the bill.

If you are exposed to strong radiation at shorter wavelengths then your cells could possibly die or mutate in large numbers. In the case of controlled radiation treatment for cancer you are exposed to intense radiation that kills not only the good cells, but the bad. Thus the risk of death from complications.

To make a person radioactive (thus the buildup of harmfull radiation) the energy provided by the radiation would have to be enough to make the atoms in your body unstable. I don't think the frequencies we're talking about can do that. It's a wavelength quite a bit shorter than microwave that is roughly the same size as a carbon atom.

<font color=red>I have a computer and it does weird stuff. please help.</font color=red><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by dhlucke on 05/15/02 05:28 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
May 16, 2002 12:27:40 AM

I think a better way to explain this is by going through how a microwave works. It basically provides enough energy to excite, or make the water molecules in your food vibrate. This vibration of the H20 molecules heats your food. So basically your biggest fear from a microwave would be that it would cook you. I know that's not very soothing, but at least it's not making you radioactive. I think the worst it would do is burn you. We both know this isn't going to happen unless you are in an adult sized microwave for 10 minutes.

A cell phone is too weak to even do that.

<font color=red>I have a computer and it does weird stuff. please help.</font color=red>
July 2, 2002 4:20:48 PM

Nearly two months later and here I am. I'm with Henry Ho. That's your name right: Henry HOoooo?

The air is filled with radiations from electronics devices, power/telephone lines, satellites. It's been documented that power lines have caused health problems to small children. While this may not be physically evident to the majority of people, I think it does affect a minority of people. And that's enough for us to do something about it.

The sun may be emitting harmful radiations and most of it is blocked by the atmosphere. Millions of years has passed for evolution to perfect the human body to widthstand the radiations that do penetrate the atmosphere. But, only in the last couple of hundred years did technology introduce electronics gadgets that emit their own radiation and I'm afraid our bodies haven't caught up to defend against these new sources of radiation.

I guess what I"m trying to say is that I need a girlfriend.

XMAN
July 2, 2002 9:41:32 PM

A girlfriend would be a good start.

<b><font color=blue>The shortest distance between two points is under construction....
July 30, 2002 6:02:52 PM

Unless you are flying to the moon buddy.. I don't think you are getting out of the Earth's ozone layers :) 

Also, I'd associate more cancer deaths to fewer diseases, not more electronics :p  Back then you died of the flu, leaving no chance for cancer.
August 17, 2002 5:31:23 PM

You need a girlfriend. Sorry...

<font color=red>I have a computer and it does weird stuff. please help.</font color=red>
July 18, 2004 5:28:20 AM

ARG! I know you're just pulling my leg alltaken! Nice try!

<i><font color=blue>Edited by Scamtron on 10/11/01 09:58 PM
July 24, 2008 3:19:15 PM

I realize this conversation was from like 4 years ago, but I felt the need to respond to a few absurdities that I read as I scanned the thread. I have a degree in physics and am currently in the process of getting a master's degree in nuclear engineering.

About cell phones causing cancer, that is ridiculous. The worst that cell phone radiation can do is increase the temperature of your brain by a fraction of a degree. Most daily activities increase body temp by more than this.

People are bombarded with radiation anywhere in the world (like someone else said...you can go way down into the earth but you're still getting hit by neutrinos). Cell phone radiation is a much weaker-energy form of EMR than even light from the visible spectrum (I think cell phone wavelength is around 30cm).

You do get a dose of some mREM from riding on an airplane. You actually are exposed to more radiation in an airplane than if you were to visit a nuclear plant. For that matter, coal plants emit more harmful radiation than nuclear plants because there are trace amounts of radioactive materials in the coal that do not burn. And since coal plants are not designed to shield for radiation (whereas nuclear plants are), you get a higher dose at a coal plant.

so quit freakin out about your cell phone for goodness sake
January 22, 2009 1:37:17 PM

you missed out that wifi networks use the same frequency as your microwave..... as you walk around town you are slowly being cooked.
Anonymous
September 16, 2009 2:25:32 AM

re
September 24, 2009 8:07:46 AM

Don't worry about this stuff. Everyday all of us receive ample amount of radiation in our atmosphere because of different mobile technologies. Plus, the transmitter in your mobile phone is small, compare that with a microwave antenna on the Broadcasting channel station (this will surely fry your balls). But cellphone radiation is very minimal.
!