The World Health Organization on Tuesday(31st June 2011) announced that cell phone can cause brain cancer. Here are some things you would like to know regarding your cell phones.

Firstly, the WHO study did not say “cell phone cause brain cancer”. Rather, it said there is some evidence indicating a possible connection which warrants further study on the subject. To be more exact, they found evidence of increase in glioma and acoustic neuroma brain cancer for mobile phone users, but have not been able to draw conclusions for other types of cancers.

WHO has subsequently categorized cell phone radiation as a "group 2B" possible human carcinogen. Group 2B means that there is some evidence for a risk but it's not that convincing

Cell phone radiation is more like a very low-powered microwave oven. In simple terms, it's similar to what happens to food in microwaves, essentially cooking the brain. So in addition to cancer and tumors, there could be a whole host of other effects like cognitive memory function, since the memory temporal lobes of our brain is where we hold our cell phones.

So what can we do to lower the risk

Here are some tips that you can follow to reduce the ill effects of cell phone radiation.

  • Your best bet is to use a headset that plugs in to your phone. Unlike Bluetooth headsets, this guarantees no additional RF exposure near your head.
  • If using the phone without a headset, wait for the call to connect before placing the phone next to your ear. Radiation is maximum during connection times. 
  • Try to always keep your mobile phone a few inches away from your body -- such as in your purse or on the table. Avoid the habit of keeping mobile phone in your shirt and trouser pockets.
  • Do not use the cell phone in enclosed metal spaces such as vehicles or elevators, where they radiate more to establish connection. The metal enclosure also acts as a Faraday cage that traps the radiation and reflects it back onto the occupants.
  • Do not make a call when the signal strength is one bar or less, which means the phone must emit stronger radiations to establish a connection. It is usually advisable to minimize calls when you are in an area with lesser coverage.
  • Prefer SMS or email or messaging services (if your phone supports have one) over a call.   This way you avoid putting the phone to your head altogether.
  • Children’s brains absorb radiation twice as much as adults. It is recommended to keep children from the phone to protect it from danger of the unknown future.
  • Purchase a phone with a low SAR (Specific Absorption Rate). In other words, a low radiation cell phone. Most phones have an SAR level listed in its instruction manual. The SAR level is a way of measuring the quantity of radio frequency (RF) energy that is absorbed by the body. The lower the number the better.


Personally I would take the WHO reports seriously and belive cell phone cause cancer. Especially considering that such a report has been published against an industry whose value is in thousands of billions of dollars. The terms like "may", "could", "not fully proved" etc could easily be suspected to be the contributions of pressure from these companies.

But cell phones have not only become a convenience, but also an integral part of the development of an economy. The only thing we can do is to take care.. so please take care of yourselves and start today. And don't forget to make your friends and family aware of this too.