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 April 18, 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 April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) An electric car that proponents hope will replace horse-drawn carriages in New York City has also been revealed at the auto show. (Apr. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

AFP (Apr. 17, 2014) It walks and runs, even up and down stairs. It can open a bottle and serve a drink, and politely tries to shake hands with a stranger. Meet the latest ASIMO, Honda's humanoid robot. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) German researchers have used a fake fingerprint made from glue to bypass the fingerprint security system on Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone. Video provided by Newsy
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