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What are the Health Risks of Cell Phones EMF Exposure?

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With all the new focus on the health risks of 5G, I felt it was important to write a well-researched post with what we already know about the health risks of cell phones and other sources of EMF radiation.

It may surprise you to learn that the body of known science on the bioeffects of EMF exposure extends back almost a century, to at least 1926, when a surgeon with the US Public Health Service named J. W. Schereschewsky recognized that certain doses of ultra-shortwave electromagnetic radiation could kill mice. 

And today, that body of science is very large, and continuing to grow, with literally thousands of high quality scientific studies demonstrating negative health risks of cell phone radiation exposure. And even if you read all of them, it can still be difficult to understand what your risk really is. In fact, the more of them you read, the more confusing it can be.

So rather than go through a whole long list of the health risks, instead I’m going to try to give you a way of understanding the nature of these health risks, and try to help you understand why cell phones and other wireless technology can wreak such damage on our bodies.

Ionizing and Non-Ionizing EMF

Certain types of electromagnetic radiation (or EMF) have a tremendous amount of energy. I’m talking here about forces like x-rays and gamma rays; even ultraviolet rays like we get from the sun. 

Where do you carry your phone?

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These types of EMF are called ionizing because they have so much energy that they can knock electrons loose from atoms (turning those atoms into ions, hence the term ‘ionizing’). This can cause tremendous damage to your body and all living things.

Modern technology emits EMF with much less energy. And because of that, the type of EMF that comes from your cell phone or WiFi router is known as non-ionizing EMF, because this type of radiation does not have enough energy to turn atoms into ions.

The Electromagnetic Spectrum
The Electromagnetic Spectrum

For many decades it was assumed that non-ionizing radiation, like what’s emitted from a cell phone, did not have enough energy to have an effect on the human body. 

But even that’s not fully accurate.

Energy vs. Power

As I said above, any dose of ionizing EMF is considered dangerous. (That’s why x-ray technicians wear lead jackets.)

And, as I said, non-ionizing radiation is considered much safer, because it has less energy.

But even this lower energy form of EMF can do a lot of damage – if it has enough power. (With EMF, energy and power are two different concepts with different meanings.)

For example, a microwave oven works by emitting the same type of non-ionizing EMF radiation as your cell phone or WiFi router. But it emits a much higher powered dose.

And so we see, even with the “safer” forms of non-ionizing radiation, if you have a dose with enough power, it can cook food and tissue. That would obviously be very dangerous if you were exposed to that. This is the so-called “thermal effect” of EMF.

thermal effect as a health risk of using a mobile phone

So everyone agrees that, at certain doses, even non-ionizing forms of EMF can do a lot of immediate and severe damage.

But your microwave emits a lot more power than your cell phone. Way more. It’s not even close.

And because devices like cell phones have so much less power, it was long assumed they were safe. That they were inert. That their EMF emissions had no effect on our bodies or on our health.

A growing body of science has shown this assumption was false. And, in fact, even non-ionizing forms of EMF, and even at levels of power insufficient to heat your body, have been shown to lead to many different types of negative health effects.

And I’m going to discuss several of those.

But before I do, there’s one other issue I want to discuss. Because I think it’s important to help understand the science that follows later down in this post.

Two Different Types of Science

As we start to dig into more of the details of the health risks of cell phones, it’s useful to understand that, broadly speaking, there are two different types of science.

When we look at scientific studies that examine the health effects of exposure to EMF, they are of two types: epidemiological studies and laboratory experiments.

And we use them to research different types of health effects.


The type of science that can specifically inform the risk of developing cancers is known as epidemiology, which studies the incidence of diseases, like cancer or SARS, in populations. 

Epidemiology does not take place in a lab; researchers study the real world. In fact, you might be hearing the terms ‘epidemiology’ and ‘epidemiologists’ quite a bit these days, as the world confronts a global pandemic. For example, Dr. Anthony Fauci is (among other things) an epidemiologist, and epidemiology is the key tool we use to track and understand the pandemic.

Dr. Anthony Fauci is (among other things) an epidemiologist.

When it comes to the health impact of technologies like cell phones, many people are most concerned about the risk of developing diseases like cancer. But it is because of the limitations of epidemiology that these are among the most difficult risks to assess.

Epidemiology is time-consuming, expensive and, well, just messy. 

It’s very time-consuming because higher quality studies on this analyze many years of data. Decades, in the case of cancers.

It’s very expensive, not only because the higher quality epidemiology takes place over a long period of time, but also because they involve a large population of subjects.

And it’s messy because, for science to work, you need what’s known as a control group – people who are unexposed to what you are studying. 

So if you’re trying to figure out if using a cell phone can cause cancer, you need a population of people who are unexposed to cell phone radiation. Just think of how difficult it is to find that in today’s world!

It’s virtually impossible.

And even then, in the real world, people are exposed to different environments, different pollutants, different forces, all of which impact their individual health. If someone forms a brain tumor, how do you know it’s from their cell phone, and not from, say, the fact that they sit right next to a WiFi router at work? Or live right next to a power plant? Or swim in a polluted river?

Even at their best, epidemiological studies can only suggest causation, by demonstrating correlations. For example, people who use a cell phone for x hours a day, are y times more likely to develop a brain tumor.

In this sense, while epidemiology is a very powerful tool, epidemiology can not actually prove anything. It can just estimate probabilities.

Laboratory Science

If you want “proof” (in the scientific sense) you must turn to a laboratory. Laboratory science is much cleaner than epidemiology. 

If you want “proof” (in the scientific sense) you must turn to a laboratory. Laboratory science is much cleaner than epidemiology.
If you want “proof” (in the scientific sense) you must turn to a laboratory. Laboratory science is much cleaner than epidemiology.

You can craft the experiments as precisely as you wish, to explore specific questions. 

You can run the same tests over and over again, on different subjects. 

And, if you did it right, your results should be reproducible by other scientists, elsewhere in the world.

So, in this sense, laboratory science is much more precise than epidemiology. You can say “x causes y.” You can actually prove things.

But, you can’t study the incidence of cancer in a lab. It’s almost impossible. Cancers can take decades to form. What are you going to do? Stick a population of people in a lab for 20 years and force them to use cell phones?

And even if it were possible, it would grossly unethical.

Epidemiology vs. Laboratory

So, as we’re about to dive into some of the science around EMF health effects, keep these two different types of science in mind.

Epidemiology is how we study diseases like cancer, but can only suggest probabilities, and lacks the ability to give us specific proof. Also, since these types of studies are so expensive to run, there are very few of them that we can look to for results.

And laboratory studies can give us proof, and there are many more of them because they are less expensive and easier to perform. But scientific studies performed in the laboratory are, by their nature, quite limited in the questions they can answer.

So again, it’s difficult to draw conclusive cause and effect relationships from individual studies – either epidemiological or laboratory-based – a fact which the wireless industry often use to their advantage in creating doubt around the health risks of EMF. 

But if we look at both types of research combined and consider the huge and growing body of evidence comprised by the two, there is really no doubt that a relationship between EMF and health effects exists.

What Diseases Can EMF Cause?

So, with all that said, what diseases can exposure to EMF radiation from devices like cell phones cause in humans?

In short, what are the health risks from cell phones? What does epidemiology have to say about this?

Brain Cancer & Tumors

When it comes to health risks from cell phones, most people I talk to are most concerned about cancer. And, of course, cancer is a very frightening disease, especially when it happens in the brain.

So, to start, let’s look at a single study, published in 2007 by a group including Dr. Lennart Hardell.

Dr. Lennart Hardell

This study examined the incidence of malignant brain tumors among thousands of individuals. This study is among the first epidemiological studies on this question, following such a large number of subjects over an extended evaluation period.

Hardell and the researchers found that not only does cell phone use increase the risk of forming malignant brain tumors, but that the risk increased with latency time (i.e., how much time had passed since the cell phone exposure) and cumulative use.

The published results include a fair bit of data. I have extracted this portion (from Table 4 in the published results) to demonstrate the dose-response relationship between cell phone exposures and the risk of forming malignant brain tumors, over different time frames.

Cumulative Hours on Digital Cell Phone1-5 Yrs Later5-10 Yrs Later10+ Yrs Later
1,001 – 2,000160%150%200%

Dr. Hardell’s data reveals some significantly increased risk from supposedly “safe” doses — and that the risk increases both with the dose, and the amount of time that passes. 

In other words, the more time you use a cell phone, the greater your risk of forming a malignant brain tumor.

And the risk continues to increase with time, even if your cumulative use remains unchanged! Meaning, even if you stop using your cell phone, your risk increases over time.

Gliomas and Acoustic Neuromas

Two types of brain cancer that are commonly seen with cell phone radiation exposure are called gliomas and acoustic neuromas.

A glioma is a type of tumor that originates in glial cells, which are a type of cell found in your brain and nervous system. And gliomas comprise an estimated 80 percent of all malignant brain tumors.

cell phone health risks - brain scan showing glioma
Glioma in the left parietal lobe (brain CT scan)

An acoustic neuroma is a non-cancerous form of tumor that develops on the acoustic nerve connecting your ear to your brain.

Exposure to cell phone radiation has been demonstrated to lead to an increased risk of both types of tumors. As Dr. Lennart Hardell explained in 2012:

“Based on epidemiological studies there is a consistent pattern of increased risk for glioma and acoustic neuroma associated with use of mobile phones and cordless phones. The evidence comes mainly from two study centres, the Hardell group in Sweden and the Interphone Study Group.”

Dr. Lennart Hardell

Indeed, the evidence demonstrating that cell phones can cause tumors was strong enough for two separate courts in Italy to rule that cell phones cause brain tumors. So this is now legal precedent inside the EU.

And other more recent data has shown that aggressive brain tumors are on the rise.

But the brain is not the only part of our body where the formation of cancers and tumors have been linked to cell phone radiation exposure. 

Other Cancers from Cell Phone Radiation Exposure

While brain tumors are a very concerning type of tumor, they are not the only type. 

For example, I’ve written about a 2018 study linking cell phone radiation exposure to the risk of developing microcarcinoma tumors of the thyroid.

And elsewhere on this blog, you’ll find information about the link between cell phones and colorectal cancer. As Dr. De-Kun Li of Kaiser-Permanente explained:

“When placed in trouser pockets, the phones are in the vicinity of the rectum and the distal colon and these are the sites of the largest increases in cancer.” 

Dr. De-Kun Li

And a 2013 study concluded that women carrying their phone in their bra significantly increases the probability of developing breast cancer before the age of 40.

Other Diseases from Cell Phone Radiation Exposure

But cancer is not the only type of disease linked to EMF radiation exposure from cell phones. 

For instance, there’s male infertility. I’ve posted about a 2007 study from the Cleveland Clinic that demonstrated a significant decline in sperm health resulting from exposure to cell phone radiation.

SYB Pocket Patch to Shield EMF Radiation
2007 study from the Cleveland Clinic that demonstrated a significant decline in sperm health resulting from exposure to cell phone radiation.

Then, when it comes to pregnancy, Dr. De-Kun Li from Kaiser Permanente published a study in 2017 in Nature magazine demonstrating that exposure to cell phone radiation during pregnancy led to a 2.72 times greater risk of miscarriage for pregnant women. That was the most recent of five studies spanning 15 years linking cell phone radiation exposure to miscarriage.

For an increasing number of people, EMF radiation from cell phones and other wireless devices is making life intolerable, even without a diagnosable disease. These people, who suffer from what is called ‘Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity’ (or EHS, also known as ‘WiFi allergies’) demonstrate a wide variety of symptoms, including headache, fatigue, stress, sleep disturbances, skin prickling, pain and muscle aches, and many other health problems.

And there is a growing list of health effects that aren’t as serious as disease or EHS. For instance, a growing number of studies show that cell phones cause malfunction of the immune system, and memory loss in children.

The list of diseases, negative health effects and risks from cell phone radiation exposure is long and growing. And a comprehensive review of them is out of the scope of this post. It’s so long that it could fill an entire book. (And if you are interested in learning more, I would recommend ‘Overpowered’ which I wrote along with my father.)

'Overpowered' by Dr. Martin Blank

Mechanisms for Diseases from Cell Phone Radiation

As we’ve just seen, there is a long and growing list of diseases that are linked – by high quality science – to the use of cell phones.

So, why do we keep hearing that there’s a debate?

Well, one thing that skeptics say is there are no mechanisms by which non-ionizing radiation can result in disease.

A mechanism is the word that scientists use to define a sequence of steps that can account for how the observed changes came about.

Mechanisms are a specific cause-and-effect relationship. X causes Y

So when skeptics say there are no mechanisms, what they mean is ‘there is no biological mechanism that cell phones can cause cancer’. If there’s no mechanism, then you can’t attribute the result to a cause.

So what about that claim? Are there mechanisms that could explain all the diseases the epidemiology is linking to cell phones?

As I explained above, while epidemiology can demonstrate probabilities of incidence of disease, they can not provide testable mechanisms. 

For that, we’ll turn to what the laboratory science has to offer.

Because, while we are not yet able to identify precisely what mechanisms lead cell phone radiation to result in diseases like brain tumors, breast cancer and miscarriage, there’s no shortage of possible candidates.

As you are about to see, the evidence of damage as a result of interaction between EMF and our bodies is overwhelming. 

EMF & DNA Damage

One of the areas that has received a lot of laboratory investigation is the question of the effect of EMF exposure on DNA.

This goes back to the ground-breaking research of Drs. Henry Lai and Narendra Singh. In a series of experiments performed between 1994 and 1998, Drs. Lai and Singh, working at the University of Washington, investigated this question: do supposedly “safe” doses of non-ionizing EMF radiation damage DNA?

And they showed that exposures of even just two hours to radiation equivalent to that of a cordless phone (remember, this was the early 1990s) increased the frequency of DNA strand breaks in the brain cells of living rats.

What’s a strand break?

Well, as you may recall from high school biology, DNA contains all the information that forms our body and all the instructions for how our body works.

DNA is in a shape called a double-helix. That double-helix is made from two strands (or strings) of DNA. 

health risks of cell phones - DNA strand breaks
DNA is in a shape called a double-helix.

And a strand break is when one of those strands literally breaks apart.

Since both strands of your DNA contain the same information, when there is a single strand break, it is possible for your cell to repair the damage by replicating the information from the intact strand. However, there are limits to your body’s ability to repair this damage, and if the damage is too extensive, the DNA becomes mutated.

And mutated cells malfunction, and can also die (in a process called ‘apoptosis’). And, believe it or not, this is actually the optimal outcome, because if the cell does not die, it will replicate the mutated DNA into more cells, spreading the damage. This is how certain diseases form. 

And depending on what cells the damage occurred in, you can possibly pass on defective genes to your offspring.

Even more concerning, Lai and Singh found that the damage to DNA continued to occur for hours following the exposure.

And, to reiterate, the levels of power that Lai and Singh tested were well within the safety limits established for technologies like cordless phones, cell phones, WiFi, baby monitors and microwave ovens.

It is because of the findings from studies such as these that many refer to electromagnetic radiation as genotoxic, or poisonous to your genes. EMF can damage and destroy your genetic material. And since that genetic material is in every cell in your body, this vulnerability is therefore present in each and every part of your body.

Just because you haven’t formed a cancerous disease from your cell phone does not mean that it is not doing irreparable harm to your body.

DNA as a Fractal Antenna

The work of Drs. Lai and Singh (which has since been successfully replicated by other scientists) has demonstrated that our DNA is vulnerable to cell phone radiation. But it doesn’t explain why.

That’s where my father, Dr. Martin Blank, along with his fellow researcher and colleague at Columbia University, Dr. Reba Goodman, stepped in with a posited explanation in his paper ‘DNA is a fractal antenna in electromagnetic fields‘. 

In that paper, he, along with Dr. Goodman, suggests that the structure of DNA makes it act like a kind of antenna. As such, it actually attracts EMF radiation.

Specifically, our DNA is shaped like a fractal antenna. Let’s go a bit deeper into what this means and how it could function as a mechanism for causing disease.

What are Fractal Antennas?

To understand the way a fractal antenna works, and how it’s related to the DNA structure, you need to understand the basics of fractals and antennas.

First, what’s an antenna?

Antennas allow wireless devices to transmit signals and information using EMF. Basic antennas usually are T-shaped. This unique shape allows the electrons to move from right to left and back again, which results in an alternating current that releases energy as it moves.

Changing the length of the antenna changes how fast the current of electrons moves, which is why you’ll see different lengths of antennas depending on their intended use.

So, that’s an antenna. What’s a fractal?

Fractals are geometric shapes that have the unique property of self-similarity. This is best explained by looking at a fern leaf. Look at the smallest leaf first – notice that each larger fern leaf is a replica of the smaller leaf.

This same concept can be applied to basic fractal geometry; each smaller shape is a replica of the larger one. As a result, the only difference is typically the size.

A Fractal Antenna
An example of a DIY fractal antenna

How Fractal Geometry Applies to Antennas

If you bring these two concepts together, you get fractal antennas.

Fractal antennas use a self-similar design to maximize the amount of EMF radiation transmitted and received. Essentially, these antennas have a design that repeats over and over again, but at varying lengths.

These different lengths give the fractal antenna a unique property: it allows the antenna to transmit multiple frequencies of EMF.

In fact, because fractal antennas can be much smaller than regular antennas, while still being as powerful as a larger antenna, many cell phones use fractal antennas to communicate.

How Does DNA Look and Act Like a Fractal Antenna?

It’s probably hard for you to imagine how you could compare our DNA to an antenna. After all, DNA is a tiny bit of biological material in your cells. How can it function like the thing you use to get TV or cell phone reception?

Well, it turns out there are some shocking similarities between the structure of antennas and DNA, and the analogy helps explain why DNA is so vulnerable to EMF radiation.

DNA shares the two important properties that all fractal antennas have:

  1. electron conduction, and
  2. self-symmetry

DNA is a long, electrical charged molecule. DNA is made from smaller base parts (called nucleotides) that join together chemically. 

The nucleotides have phosphates joined to them. And these phosphates have a negative electrical charge.

In other words, a basic property of DNA is having a negative electrical charge.

DNA also has a unique double-helical structure (which is self-symmetrical). Thus it has a degree of fractal geometry.

These two properties of DNA combined — electron conduction and self-symmetry — are the reasons why DNA acts as a fractal antenna. As a result, DNA is able to absorb EMF radiation at multiple frequency ranges (a characteristic of fractal antennas). In fact, the design of DNA means it is optimized to act as an antenna.

This study even points out how EMF interacts with DNA similarly over a range of frequencies, from extremely low frequency (ELF) to radio frequency (RF) ranges.

In effect, DNA is an electrically-charged sponge. So, DNA naturally absorbs EMF radiation.

What are the Consequences of Human DNA Acting as a Fractal Antenna?

So, DNA is a fractal antenna. What are the consequences of that?

One of the main ones is that DNA is incredibly susceptible to even extremely low levels of EMF radiation.

This is why even extremely low levels of EMF radiation exposure can result in irreparable DNA strand breaks and damage. Sometimes, DNA breaks can occur on one strand, on both, or between the DNA itself.

This type of DNA damage is actually the cause of most cancers. Even when damaged DNA doesn’t result in cancer, it can result in the body’s inability to properly repair damaged tissue, or even result in cell death. 

So to summarize, the consequence of DNA acting as a fractal antenna is that it attracts EMF radiation, which in turn leads to DNA damage – ultimately making us far more vulnerable to the health risks of cell phones and other EMF-emitting devices.

And the fact that DNA acts as a fractal antenna doesn’t make matters any easier when it comes to figuring out how to protect yourself from EMF radiation.

EMF & The Cellular Stress Response

Stepping away from DNA specifically, we can examine how EMF exposure affects other aspects of our bodies. 

Evidence shows that EMF plays a major role in how our body manages and handles stress. EMF has been shown to activate a stress response within the body, similar to the “fight or flight” response.

This stress response occurs naturally when we are under a significant amount of stress or facing danger. When this response is activated, stress hormones and chemicals are released throughout the body in order to deal with the potential stressor. 

In this case, the stressor would be EMF. These electromagnetic signals can cause various types of stress responses within the body.

Sometimes this may manifest as health issues like hypothyroidism, celiac disease, or heart disease. Other times it can result in disorders such as anxiety, depression, or even Alzheimer’s.

It turns out that exposure to EMF radiation leads the body to continuously emit a “false alarm” stress signal. This leads to high levels of adrenalin and stress hormones accumulating overtime. Considerable damage to the adrenal glands (which are located above the kidneys) can result from your body’s stress response being continuously activated by EMF. The adrenals are responsible for helping to manage and deal with stress.

As this process continues, it becomes increasingly difficult for the body to handle relatively normal amounts of stress. This is because these organs are now overworked and exhausted, and they then begin to function at a lower capacity.

This process leads to a gradual diminishment and weakening of the immune system. In turn, the body becomes much more susceptible to infectious diseases such as autoimmune disorders and other illnesses that can be avoided.

Does EMF Trigger the Stress Response?

EMF exposure can trigger these types of stress responses oftentimes without the person being aware that they are stressed. This is because the way the body releases the stress chemicals is almost in a subliminal manner. Even very low levels of exposure to human-made EMF can cause the hormone levels in the body to change and activate the stress response.

Here, again, I will point to the work of my father, Dr. Martin Blank, alongside Dr. Reba Goodman. Drs. Blank and Goodman first demonstrated in 1994 (and then again in 1998) that EMF stimulates the stress response in our cells. Again, notably, they found these results with levels of EMF that are within safety limits of devices like cell phones.

Dr. Martin Blank, 1933-2018
My father, Dr. Martin Blank, along with Dr. Reba Goodman, demonstrated that EMF triggers the cellular stress response.

So, what’s the problem? Might that not mean that our cells are mobilizing defenses to repair the damage caused from EMF exposure?

In the short term, possibly yes. 

However, the stress response was not intended to be constantly invoked. Our bodies’ systems and cells are not designed to be in a constant state of stress.

But, we are constantly exposed to EMF. And thus, the stress response in our cells is continually being triggered.

This builds a tolerance in our cells. And this, in turn, reduces the ability of our cells to respond to the stress imposed by EMF exposure. 

In other words, short-term exposure to EMF results in the stress response in our cells. Long term exposure numbs the ability of our cells to respond to stress, and thus to repair damage from harmful forces, such as EMF.

And with the constantly increasing amounts of ambient EMF in our environments, this leads to an increase in electromagnetic-tolerance at the cellular level, decreasing the capabilities of our cells to cope with and repair damage.

For much more information about the works of Drs. Lai and Singh, and Drs. Blank and Goodman, check out chapter 4 of ‘Overpowered’, which includes an extended discussion of their work, as well as the work of scientists around the world who have repeated and expanded on this research.

EMF & the Blood Brain Barrier

You may not have heard of the blood brain barrier before, but it plays a crucial role in your body’s defenses against brain related illness.

And there is evidence to suggest that EMF actually weakens this important barrier, potentially exposing the brain to harmful bacteria and toxins. 

As we all know, the brain is one of the body’s most vital organs, so it makes sense that our bodies have evolved with several measures in place to protect it. The skull, cerebrospinal fluids, and the meninges (a protective membrane) all help to cushion and protect the brain against physical injury.

The blood brain barrier is one of our body’s ways of protecting your brain. It acts as a bridge between your blood stream and your brain, preventing foreign substances that may be carried in the blood — like pathogens and toxins — from crossing into your brain tissue. Because the barrier is semi-permeable, it does allow particular things, like vital nutrients, to pass through.

health risks of cell phones and the blood brain barrier
The blood brain barrier is one of our body’s ways of protecting your brain.

So the blood brain barrier is designed to let important and useful things from your blood into your brain, and to prevent harmful things in your blood from entering your brain.

If the blood brain barrier is weakened, it becomes more porous and can allow dangerous or infection-causing substances to reach the brain. That’s when damage can occur.

How Toxins End Up In Our Blood

A weakened blood brain barrier opens up various risks. While one is disease-causing bacteria and pathogens, recent evidence also suggests that toxins we breathe in on a daily basis can quickly make it into our blood stream.

A 2017 study had volunteers breathe in harmless gold nanoparticles, which were then tracked through the body. Results showed that it took less than 24 hours for those nanoparticles to find their way from the lungs into the bloodstream. Three months later, the particles were still circulating in the body.

“If reactive particles like those in air pollution … reach susceptible areas of the body then even (a) small number of particles might have serious consequences,” said Mark Miller, lead research scientist of the study.

Crossing The Blood Brain Barrier: The Effect Of EMFs

So if toxins we breathe in from air pollution end up in our blood stream, and our blood brain barrier breaks down, it makes sense that those toxins can more easily pass through to our brain. Exactly what we don’t want in our quest for health and longevity – or proper brain function.

But what evidence is there that our cell phones and wireless devices can really damage the blood brain barrier?

While the effect of electromagnetic radiation on human brains is difficult to measure in a laboratory setting, a number of studies on rats have shown clear changes to blood brain barrier permeability after exposure to EMFs.

Dr. Leif Salford, a neurosurgeon at Lund University in Sweden, has been leading research on the effects of mobile phone radiation on the brain since the 1990s, and has called cell phone use “the world’s largest biological experiment” in which we “volunteer as guinea-pigs” to take part. The results of his studies have consistently shown that EMF exposure causes damage to the blood brain barrier.

One of Lund University’s studies from 2008 found that exposure to mobile phone radiation caused cognitive impairment in rats.

Another of the team’s studies from 2009 exposed rats to just two hours of mobile phone radiation, then evaluated the results of the exposure after a 7-day rest period. The study concluded that “findings are in agreement with our earlier studies where we have seen increased BBB [blood brain barrier] permeability immediately and 14 days after exposure.”

A study from 2015 by a team of Chinese researchers supports the findings of both blood brain barrier damage and cognitive impairment in rats after exposure to EMFs. In that particular study, rats were exposed for either 14 or 28 days. The rats in the 28 day group were found to have greater cognitive impairment as well as “cellular edema and neuronal cell organelle degeneration”. The scientists state that “these results demonstrated that exposure to 900 MHz EMF radiation for 28 days can significantly impair spatial memory and damage BBB permeability in [the] rat by activating the mkp-1/ERK pathway”.

In other words, exposure to the same type of EMF radiation emitted by cell phones and cordless phones weakens the blood brain barrier, making our brains more susceptible to disease and damage from other environmental forces, such as pollution.

Humans Are Electromagnetic Beings Made of Charged Particles

So, why is it that such low power levels of EMF radiation effect cells, tissues, body functions and leave humans susceptible to a wide variety of health risks? What is it with EMF and the body that makes us so vulnerable to damage?

The answer is both relatively simple and intuitive: the human body is a machine that runs on electromagnetic energy. That may sound like I’m speaking in spiritual terms, but I’m speaking here purely in terms of science.

All matter is composed of charged elementary particles. This includes the human body – your body. So it makes sense that electromagnetic forces could yield significant biological effects.

What’s more, at a basic level, your body utilizes exceedingly low levels of electromagnetic energy to communicate. EMF traveling through the body is how your brain sends messages to your cells, and it’s how your muscles work.

In short, your body relies on EMF to function. EMF is one critical way in which your body operates and regulates itself.

But, of course, your body relies on very specific levels of EMF. Your body is tuned to act in response to very, very low power levels of extremely-low frequency (ELF) EMF — in the range of 1 – 10Hz. 

This is compared to the 60Hz frequency found in power lines and electrical appliances, 2.4-5 gigahertz used by cell phones and WiFi, and up to 300 GHz used for new 5G technology. 

(That means 5G communicates with up to 300,000,000,000 – 300 billion – times more energy than the signals our body is built to use and to understand.)

Thus, even though technology like WiFi and cell phones emit relatively low levels of power of EMF – generally insufficient to burn you, and with much less energy than ionizing forces like X-rays or gamma rays – these levels of EMF have much more energy than what your body is used to.

Given that your body relies on this type of energy to function, it makes intuitive sense that bombarding your body with multiple concurrent sources of electromagnetic radiation (from all the wireless devices, electrical appliances and the power grid) would throw off much of your body’s function.

When your body is being exposed to this type of radiation, it is getting all sorts of confusing messages that throw off its normal function.

Health Risks of Cell Phones Even at Low Power

So, as this post has summarized, there is an overwhelming amount of evidence linking exposure to EMF radiation to numerous diseases.

And we see this even at low levels of power, and at non-ionizing levels of energy – less than you would get from a single cell phone, much less the multiple cell phones, WiFi networks, appliances, and all sorts of wireless and electrical devices we find ourselves surrounded by 24/7.

And, we see there are several plausible mechanisms to help explain how EMF exposure results in these diseases. 

  • Since the human body is composed of charged particles, it should be expected that electromagnetic forces would have a significant biological impact.
  • The impact of EMF on the cellular stress response helps explain why even very weak levels of EMF can result in DNA strand breaks.
  • That DNA shares many structural similarities with fractal antennas would further explain how DNA is so sensitive to even low levels of power of EMF exposure.
  • The links between cancer and EMF can be explained by the type of DNA damage that has been repeatedly demonstrated by different scientists around the world. The same is true for the links between EMF and infertility and miscarriage.
  • The leakage of the blood brain barrier can result in the death of brain cells, resulting in damage to the brain; this would also help explain health effects including memory loss and cognitive decline.

In short, there is a massive, and continuously growing body of real, high-quality science demonstrating significant negative health outcomes from the exposure to EMF radiation from devices like cell phones.

For more detailed information about the known health effects of exposure to non-ionizing EMF radiation, I would recommend you check out the Bioinitiative Report which surveys and summarizes thousands of studies in this area. And for a more comprehensive catalog of over 30,000 of these studies, check out EMF-Portal.

And so now that you understand that real science provides significant evidence linking EMF exposure to negative health effects, if you are motivated to take action and reduce your exposure to this harmful force, I recommend that you start here and find out why I say the best EMF protection is free.

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About the Author

R Blank is the CEO of Shield Your Body, which he founded in 2012. With hundreds of thousands of customers in over 30 countries, and having been interviewed on platforms including Dr. Phil, ABC news television and ElectricSense, R is an internationally followed expert on issues of EMF, health and safety. He also hosts “The Healthier Tech Podcast”, available Apple, Spotify and all major podcasting platforms. In the past, he served on the faculty at the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering as well as the University of California, Santa Cruz. Previously, R ran a software engineering firm in Los Angeles, producing enterprise-level solutions for blue chip clients including Medtronic, Apple, NBC, Toyota, Disney, Microsoft, the NFL, Ford, IKEA and Mattel. He has spoken at conferences around the world, including in the US, Canada, New Zealand and the Netherlands, and he is the co-author, along with his father Dr. Martin Blank, of ‘Overpowered‘ from Seven Stories Press about the science of health effects of EMF radiation. He has an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management and received his bachelor’s degree, with honors, from Columbia University. He has also studied at Cambridge University in the UK; the University of Salamanca in Spain; and the Institute of Foreign Languages in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. Read more about R and SYB or connect with R on LinkedIn.

Have a Question?

I take pride in designing great, effective products, based on real, measurable science – AND taking the time to ensure that each and every one of you has the information you need to understand EMF and make informed decisions.

So if you have a question, just email me and ask.

R Blank

R Blank