Cell Phone Radiation Affects Brain Activity: Study

Authors say it's not cause for alarm, just more long-term research
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2011 7:01 PM CST

(Newser) – The debate on the health risks of cell phones is probably going to get noisy for a few days. A prominent new study shows that if you use the phone for about an hour, the area of your brain nearest the antenna shows increased activity, reports Wired. “We have no idea what this means yet or how it works,” said the lead researcher, Nora Volkow of the National Institutes of Health. “But this is the first reliable study showing the brain is activated by exposure to cellphone radio frequencies.”

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The study is in the Journal of the American Medical Association and can be read in full here. "I can't overall say this is harmful but we have to study more for long-term effects," says Volkow. In the meantime, the by-now common advice to use a headset or speaker phone—especially teens, whose brains are more vulnerable—is probably wise, she says. The Los Angeles Times notes that the study may not be definitive, but "by providing solid evidence that cellphone use has measurable effects on brain activity, it suggests that the nation's passionate attachment to its 300 million cellphones may be altering the way we think and behave in subtle ways." (Read more cell phones stories.)

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