Can using your cell phone give you brain cancer?

Can using your cell phone give you brain cancer?

Is using a cell phone harmful to your health? In the first of a two-parter, Risk Bites looks at the chances of your cell phone giving you brain cancer (spoiler alert: not a lot). Next time — the more worrisome risk of your phone placing you in a life or death situation.

Note: The video refers to the World Health Organization review of cell phones and potential to cause cancer that was released in 2011. This study was conducted by the International Association for Research on Cancer (IARC) — IARC is a WHO specialized agency.

This week’s Risk Bites team:
David Faulkner (Script, post-production)
Andrew Maynard (all the other stuff)

Useful resources:

World Health Organization: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs193/en/

National Cancer Institute information on cell phones and cancer risk: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/cellphones

Carcinogenicity of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields. Baan et al.
The Lancet Oncology (2011) Volume 12, Issue 7, Pages 624-626
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(11)70147-4

Cell Phones, Cancer, and Children, Boyce and Tarone. J Natl Cancer Inst (2011) 103 (16): 1211-1213. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djr285

Mobile phone use and glioma risk: comparison of epidemiological study results with incidence trends in the United States. Little et al. BMJ (2012); 344 http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e1147

Challenging cell phone impact on reproduction: A Review. Mehri, Z. O. Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics (2012), Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 293-297 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10815-012-9722-1

IARC Classifies Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields As Possibly Carcinogenic To Humans (IARC press release): http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2011/pdfs/pr208_E.pdf

Classification of agents in IARC monographs: http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Classification/ClassificationsGroupOrder.pdf

ITU Global Technology Development figures, 2012: http://www.itu.int/net/pressoffice/press_releases/2012/70.aspx#.USgB9R3OuuI

Xkcd (just for fun!) http://xkcd.com/925/

Risk Bites is supported by the Arizona State University Risk Innovation Lab and School for the Future of Innovation in Society

Risk Bites is your guide to making sense of risk. We cover everything from understanding and balancing the risks and benefits of everyday products, to health science more broadly, to the potential impacts of emerging technologies, to making sense of risk perception. If you enjoy our videos, please subscribe, and spread the word!

27 Comments

  1. Simtonic on September 12, 2021 at 10:30 pm

    Well I’m watching this on a cell phone so technically I shouldn’t be watching this 😂 but it’s a smartphone

  2. thedude0980 on September 12, 2021 at 10:30 pm

    If you’ve done so much research, then perhaps you should present that information instead of bellowing and swearing.

    Or perhaps you’ve forgotten the function the "Caps lock" key, in which case, you might do well to do "much research" on how to turn it off.

  3. NUNA CUTIE on September 12, 2021 at 10:31 pm

    FIRST RESERCHERS SAY THAT THE MOBILE PHONES VIBRATION IS BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH BUT ACTUALLY THEY HAVENT PROVE THAT UNTIL NOW CAN U BELIVE IT !!!

  4. A.J. likes Cars on September 12, 2021 at 10:37 pm

    cool

  5. Vanderson Tonus on September 12, 2021 at 10:38 pm

    HAHAHAHAHAHA, loved the format of this vid. Thanks for the easy digest info 🙂

  6. Risk Bites on September 12, 2021 at 10:38 pm

    Thanks Maria!

  7. amozoness6 on September 12, 2021 at 10:44 pm

    depends on how near you hold it, how bright, and for how long you stare. you could say the same of the sun, the horizon, books, or your computer monitor.

  8. Maria Saraiva on September 12, 2021 at 10:46 pm

    Riskbites have been wonderfull tool to help in teaching epidemiology to my students! This is marvelous!

  9. 00zeronian on September 12, 2021 at 10:48 pm

    This is surely the worst video I have ever seen. I am sure that I have lost several IQ points by subjecting myself to such utter nonsense.

  10. Mukesh Shenai on September 12, 2021 at 10:48 pm

    Hi there, I was just curious, How much did a Smart phone manufacturing company pay you for making and uploading this video on the Youtube. please do not misguide people. but your video is technically made very marketable and of good quality i must admit.

  11. GameWorld on September 12, 2021 at 10:48 pm

    everyone says he’s wrong but your logic means bananas and humans cause cancer

  12. David Del Castillo on September 12, 2021 at 10:54 pm

    Mobile devices are in fact causal to lowered sperm count and lower testosterone in men when in pocket.

  13. BagbyBrand on September 12, 2021 at 11:01 pm

    Nice! What about if you start a #PhoneFreeBedroomChallenge https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/bagby-world-s-first-sleeping-bag-for-your-phone-sleep

  14. AASHRITHA D on September 12, 2021 at 11:02 pm

    Super

  15. Paolo Benini on September 12, 2021 at 11:05 pm

    I HAVE REPORTS I HAVE INFO AND YOU FUCKKNG IPHONE USERS DESERVE TO THROW THEM IN HE BIN! Because people are dying to make them in china work labour is 1000x harder and incidents happen everyday and people die!!!! FUCK YOU SAMSUNG ANDROID APPLE

  16. 13x60 on September 12, 2021 at 11:05 pm

    If there is a researcher reading this and is convinced that cellphones aren’t harmful to the human body, i’ll bet my life on it that I can prove to them in a matter of minutes that it is harmful to some ppl  – I can’t speak for everyone, but I know some ppl are very sensitive to electronic radiation. I am one of them.

  17. Broome on September 12, 2021 at 11:11 pm

    I GUARANTEE THIS VIDEO IS PUT OUT BY CELL PHONE COMPANIES
    THEY DO CAUSE CANCER AND OTHER BAD STUFF
    I HAVE DONE MUCH RESEARCH ON IT
    THIS VIDEO AND ANY OTHER ONE PROBABLY PUT OUT BY THIS SHILL ARE BULLSHIT

  18. Hristo Beltran on September 12, 2021 at 11:14 pm

    This is definetely going to help me in my essay. Thanks.!

  19. Calamaistr on September 12, 2021 at 11:14 pm

    Sadly noone seems to care or were on a slippery slope right now, this lack of developement in a complete generation will be the death of civilisation. It is the disinterest and the permissive to everything attitude already heavily noticeable in everyday life that cripples any hope for it. I personally dont own a cellphone and havent for 16 years, yes you read that right. And im not socially handicapped, on the contrary.. im very social toward people and i recognice people that are the most socially incapable are those that are the most preoccupied with their pocketinternet.

  20. Sergio Malik on September 12, 2021 at 11:16 pm

    You are LIER ! Good job!

  21. Broome on September 12, 2021 at 11:17 pm

    YOU’RE A LIER THERE ARE COUNTRIES THAT ACTUALLY BAN CHILDREN FROM USING THEM BECAUSE THEY CAUSE CANCER AND HAVE OTHER BAD EFFECTS
    I HAVE SEEN THE REPORTS
    LIER

  22. andy530i on September 12, 2021 at 11:20 pm

    Utter rubbish _ how much are they paying you?

  23. NJ Moto on September 12, 2021 at 11:21 pm

    All you have to do is put: Worshiping The Apple God into the Search box and see what comes up. If it’s not bad for your health, it’s probably really bad for someone else’s health.

  24. Andrew Powell on September 12, 2021 at 11:24 pm

    Whenever I watch American youtubers drive, I’m astounded that they aren’t afraid they’ll get pulled over. Then I remember its only Canada that made using your phone while driving illegal. To me its just silly not to have that law.

  25. Risk Bites on September 12, 2021 at 11:24 pm

    @Yuoskalola – if you have legitimate reports, send me the links and I’ll add them to the extensive list of reports above if they appear credible.

  26. friebender on September 12, 2021 at 11:25 pm

    What about the myth that handies make you impotant, when you wear them in your pocket for a periode of time? Is that one true?

  27. Little Kitty on September 12, 2021 at 11:25 pm

    everything has a limit . not to use 24 into 7. minimum use of cell phone is ok. like 1 hour per day 4 hours a week. and 3 other day is holiday relax and rest.

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