Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

What Are The Health Effects Of Wireless Communication Devices?

Date:
January 18, 2008
Source:
National Academies
Summary:
The rapid increase in the use of wireless communication devices in recent years has been accompanied by a significant amount of research into potential health effects from high exposure to radiofrequency energy emitted by these devices. A new National Research Council report identifies research that could further extend understanding of long-term low exposure to these devices. The report noted that it is unknown whether children are more susceptible to RF exposure, but they may be at increased risk because of their developing organ and tissue systems.

The rapid increase in the use of wireless communication devices in recent years has been accompanied by a significant amount of research into potential health effects from high exposure to radiofrequency (RF) energy emitted by these devices. A new National Research Council report, requested by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, identifies research that could further extend understanding of long-term low exposure to these devices.

The committee that wrote the report identified research needs and gaps based on presentations made by international experts and discussion sessions with attendees at a three-day workshop last August that evaluated disciplines and topics such as measurement of RF energy and exposure, studies on human populations, human laboratory measurements, and animal and cell biology.

In the report, research needs are defined as studies that, in the near term, could increase understanding of any potential adverse effects of RF energy on humans. Gaps are defined as research studies that are of lower priority or that should not be carried out until the results of current research studies are evaluated. The committee did not evaluate potential health effects or recommend how the identified research needs should be met.

One research need the committee identified is studies of any potential health consequences from multiple, long-term, low-intensity RF exposure as opposed to most of the present data that evaluates acute effects on healthy adults during short exposures to RF fields. For instance, measuring the amount of RF energy received by juveniles, children, pregnant women, and fetuses from wireless devices and RF base station antennas could help define exposure ranges for various populations. Although it is unknown whether children are more susceptible to RF exposure, they may be at increased risk because of their developing organ and tissue systems.

Additionally, Specific Absorption Rates (SAR) for children are likely to be higher than for adults, because exposure wavelength is closer to the whole-body resonance frequency for shorter individuals. The current generation of children will also experience a longer period of RF field exposure from mobile phone use than adults, because they will most likely start using them at an early age. The report notes that several surveys have shown a steep increase in mobile phone ownership among children, but virtually no relevant studies of human populations at present examine health effects in this population.

The evolving types of antennas for hand-held wireless communication devices also should be analyzed for the amount of RF energy they deliver to different parts of the body so the data would be available for use in future studies, the committee said. Studies to understand the effects of RF energy irradiation from cell phone antennas on the human head have already been conducted.

However, for most of these studies, the research has assumed that cell phones have pull-out linear rod antennas and are held against a person's ear. Many newer telephones use built-in antennas for which additional SAR data are needed, the report says. Also, wireless technology is now used in laptop computers and hand-held texting and Web-surfing devices, in which the antennas are close to other parts of the body.

Other research needs identified by the committee include:

  • Completing a prospective study of adults in a general population and a retrospective group with medium to high occupational exposures.
  • Conducting human laboratory studies that focus on possible effects of RF electromagnetic fields on neural networks and the brain's electrical activity.
  • Completing human population studies of children and pregnant women, including childhood cancers and brain cancer.
  • Evaluating effects of RF doses at the microscopic level.
  • Characterizing radiated electromagnetic fields for typical multiple-element base station antennas and exposures to affected individuals.

The study was sponsored by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council make up the National Academies. They are private, nonprofit institutions that provide science, technology, and health policy advice under a congressional charter. The Research Council is the principal operating agency of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. A committee roster follows.

Copies of Identification Of Research Needs Relating To Potential Biological Or Adverse Health Effects Of Wireless Communications Devices are available from the National Academies Press; tel. 202-334-3313 or 1-800-624-6242.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Academies. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Academies. "What Are The Health Effects Of Wireless Communication Devices?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 January 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080117164130.htm>.
National Academies. (2008, January 18). What Are The Health Effects Of Wireless Communication Devices?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080117164130.htm
National Academies. "What Are The Health Effects Of Wireless Communication Devices?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080117164130.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 16, 2014) Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' startup will team up with Boeing and Lockheed to develop rocket engines as Elon Musk races to have his rockets certified. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
MIT's Robot Cheetah Unleashed — Can Now Run, Jump Freely

MIT's Robot Cheetah Unleashed — Can Now Run, Jump Freely

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) MIT developed a robot modeled after a cheetah. It can run up to speeds of 10 mph, though researchers estimate it will eventually reach 30 mph. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) Automobile manufacturer Local Motors created a drivable electric car using a 3-D printer. Printing the body only took 44 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Refurbished New York Subway Tunnel Unveiled After Sandy Damage

Refurbished New York Subway Tunnel Unveiled After Sandy Damage

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 15, 2014) New York officials unveil subway tunnels that were refurbished after Superstorm Sandy. Nathan Frandino reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins