The Inconvenient Truth About Cell Phones

August 13, 2015
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

What We Now Know About Cell Phone Radiation and Its Cumulative Effects…

When the initial research started emerging that suggested links between cell phone radiation exposure and the development of cancer and other conditions, it caused little alarm.

No one seemed to understand the data. On one side, we had this remarkable new technology and on the other, a collection of scientific experts arguing that there was some “statistical correlation” involving radiation and disease. It was difficult for the average person to make sense of it all, but we’ve come a long way since then.

Today, the research findings on cell phone radiation exposure are becoming clearer and the public is more informed than ever before. And thankfully, we are learning that we are not victims and we can take action to protect ourselves in practical ways.  In my book Zapped, I discuss very simple ways to mitigate risks including how to electronically “feng shui” your home, office, school and workplace, and even how to eat to beat EMFs.

Since I wrote the book, there have been a number of significant scientific findings which all allude to the urgency of immediate protection. I’ve recently come across state-of-the-art protective radiation shielding called DefenderShield® which blocks radiation emitted from the mobile devices we use so close to our bodies every day. Read on to learn more…

Current Expert Conclusions

In the past, many respected institutions said the data linking cell phone use and cancer was suggestive, but not 100% conclusive. Some of it seemed hard to believe while others, perhaps even contradictory. Most significantly lost in their messages however, was the fact that all studies were saying that more data was needed before cell phones could be considered truly ‘safe’.

A number of organizations are working to better understand the impact of cell phone use and the potential health risks, yet even these larger bodies vary in their opinions:

  • International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), WHO – classifies radiofrequency fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans based on “limited” evidence from human studies, radiofrequency energy and cancer in rodents, studies on genotoxicity, effects on immune system function, gene and protein expression, cell signaling, oxidative stress, apoptosis, and studies with the possible effects of radiofrequency energy on the blood-brain barrier.
  • American Cancer Society (ACS) – states there are “some” risks associated with cancer but the evidence is not strong enough to be considered causal and needs further investigation.
  • National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) – says the weight of the current evidence is not sufficient, more research is needed.

Health Effects

By the very nature of limited time and scientific investigation, only insufficient data has been available up until recent years. After all, cell phones were invented in 1973 and only started becoming popular in the mid-nineties. It’s really just in the past 10-15 years that cell phones have gained mass consumption. What we are now seeing is the suggestion that long-term exposure (over the course of years) to cell phone radiation can lead to a wide variety of health effects, especially for the young.

There has always been concern because of the thermal impacts of cell phone radiation to an adult head as depicted in Figure 1, but we actually now know that the radiation effects are much worse for children. Cell phone emissions are able to penetrate almost completely through the head of a 5 year old, as shown in Figure 2.

CNET Cellphone Radiation Levels

Figure 1. CNET Cellphone Radiation Level Effects








Microwave Cellphone Effects

Figure 2: Cell phone radiation exposure is especially detrimental to developing minds










Here are just some of the other health implications linked to electronic device radiation exposure:

  • Reproductive Effects (ex. reduced sperm count and sperm motility)
  • Genotoxic Effects (ex. DNA fragmentation, fertility problems)
  • Glioma and Meningioma (forms of brain cancer)
  • Cellular stress, including release of heat shock proteins
  • Cognitive Effects (ex. lethargic response times)
  • Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (ex. tingling sensations, fatigue, sleep disturbances, dizziness, loss of mental attention, reaction time and memory retentiveness, headaches, malaise, tachycardia, disturbances to the digestive system)
  • Behavioral Effects (ex. ADHD effect in rats)
  • Integrity changes to the blood-brain barrier of rats
  • Sleep and EEG Effects
  • Cataracts in Rabbit Models

Current Research and Actions

As the body of evidence accumulates, it’s become more widely acknowledged in the scientific community that prolonged exposure to cell phone radiation may cause lasting harm. The question is less if cell phone emissions are harmful or not, but how much exposure does it take to actually cause damage? In fact, we now see countries taking action to limit exposure as can be seen in Figure 3.

Slow Roast Graphic

Figure 3. Important graphic to consider

So what does the current research show and what can be done about it?

In May 2015, a group of nearly 200 biological and health scientists from around the world urged the World Health Organization and governments to take precautions to address the public health concern which links cell phone use to cancer. As Dr. Martin Blank, from the Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics at Columbia University put it, “Putting it bluntly [cell phones] are damaging the living cells in our bodies and killing us prematurely.

More recently, a meta-analysis of 100 peer-reviewed studies released in July 2015 showed that RF radiation from your phone can damage DNA and lead to a variety of health problems. The study, Oxidative Mechanisms of Biological Activity of Low-intensity Radiofrequency Radiation published by Electromagnetic Biology & Medicine, “indicates that among 100 currently available peer-reviewed studies dealing with oxidative effects of low-intensity RFR, in general, 93 confirmed that RFR induces oxidative effects in biological systems.” The research found that using a phone for 20 minutes a day for 5 years was shown to increase the risk of a type of brain tumor by 300%.

This month, an ordinance, called “Right to Know” came into effect in Berkeley, California. Prospective purchasers of mobile phones are required to receive a warning of the potential health risks, when interacting with a salesperson. Customers must be warned by sellers that carrying cell phones on them (including in their clothing) may result in exceeding the federal guidelines for radiation exposure. In addition, consumer warnings must include that the potential risks of exposure may be greater for children, whose brains are still developing and thus are more susceptible to the long-term effects of electromagnetic radiation exposure.

As Dr. Robert Morris, the senior medical adviser at the Environmental Health Trust said, “if industry does not want to advise people about the fact that phones are not tested next to the body, then they should get the FCC to change its requirements for radiation testing. They cannot do this because, if phones were tested next to the body, they would be found to emit too much radiation to pass current standards.”

What can you do?

Clearly, the tide is turning. More researchers are expressing their concerns and additional information is becoming available as time progresses. Studies that previously lacked long-term data are starting to show results. In the interim, experts advise that the best way to minimize your personal risk is to reduce the amount of time you spend using your cell phone or other electronic device in close proximity to your body. As individuals, we can also take action with shielding solutions that help protect us from overexposure to this toxic radiation.

One such solution is the most effective EMF protection ever developed. Backed by FCC certified lab testing, DefenderShield® technology blocks virtually 100% of harmful radiation emitted from cell phones and tablets. Their cases not only help protect you from exposure to radiation, but also protect your devices. They also offer a DefenderPad® which blocks radiation and heat from you lap when placed underneath your laptop. Learn more about how DefenderShield cases work>>

With the dangers becoming more evident than ever, isn’t it time we all took the necessary steps to protect ourselves and our loved ones?

Related Articles and Podcasts

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. Gloria B.

    I will share this with everybody I know. EXCELLENT article.

  2. Alesea

    What about computer and laptops? Are they as harmful as cell phones?

    Thank you.

  3. Mary

    If you use a wireless router with your computer, the EMF levels are extremely high. Don’t sleep on the back side of a wall behind a wireless router. Powering it completely down between uses is helpful and only takes seconds. Power strips that run all of the computer equipment are nice for this!

    Any motor creates EMFs. As the electrical current switches from positive waves to negative, it makes a 110 volt electrical system function with the wave height of 220 volts, which is a more powerful wave that pushes magnets inside of motors to do their work. Any AC current is problematic when motors turn on in your home, the question is just how big of a draw (current) because it creates a larger EMF at the motor site and down that circuit’s wiring.

    So, look at when the big motors in your home that take a lot of electricity run, like air conditioners, refrigerators, whole house fans on furnaces, construction tools, and wall-warts to recharge handheld electrical devices. Look at wireless items and find ways to disconnect when not in use. Look at shielding from neighbors’ EMFs.

    And, take preventative action when in public by asking people next to you if their cell phone is on or off, then walk away from those who ‘don’t get it’ that wireless microwaves create microscopic super-heated spots that break DNA and EMFs interfere with your body’s own very weak cellular EMFs (think of pictures of peoples’ auras taken with Kirlian photography).

    It is possible to heal from EMF damage that causes excruciating pain, but it takes time and effort.

    • Liz

      The closer you are to the source of radiation, the worse it is. So when you are using a laptop you are having the full effect of the radiation on your lap- your abdomen and hips. A computer on the desk is removed slightly from your body but you are still getting radiation through your hands.

  4. Dottie

    What shocking information. I’m so glad to know about this problem. I’m telling my son about this so he can protect his 2 year old daughter. In fact I am going to buy him a DefenderPad for his ipad. I know my granddaughter watches cartoons on it. Thank you so much for this blog!

  5. Cloe

    Thank you Ann Louise for this informative blog! I am around electronic devices most of the day. Now I know what I am risking. I’m going to get Zapped to get more ideas to help protect myself.

  6. Jennifer

    Good tips. Balanced article. I won’t give up my techie toys but learning how to
    safely use them, I will do. Thanks 🙂

  7. Susan

    Great information! I will be more careful with my cell phone. Thanks



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