The perennial doomsters warning against mobile phone usage and links to brain damage have raised their ugly heads (no pun intended), once again.  This time it is no less than the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) which has found that 50 minutes of mobile phone use was associated with increased “brain glucose metabolism” – a marker of brain activity – in the region closest to the phone antenna. Presumably, the tests did not involve the iPhone 4. Considering the controversy over its weak antenna it must now sit squarely in the safe phone class.

Coming back to the main point, since the advent of mobile phones we have had continuous claim and counter-claim about the dangers, particularly to the brain. Numerous studies of the association between mobile phone use and prevalence of brain tumors have been inconsistent and remain largely unresolved. For a start, who in their right mind would want to talk on a mobile phone for 50 minutes? Anybody that has spoken for even 10 minutes will know that their ears get hot, so something must be happening.

Now it seems that exposure to radiofrequency-modulated electromagnetic fields (RF-EMFs) of mobile phones generates a 7% increase in brain metabolism close to the antenna of a commercial mobile phone during transmission, compared to when the phone is off. The report states that, “furthermore, it is known that sensory input (e.g. hearing) does elevate brain metabolism although the asymmetric nature of the finding does suggest that this is not the case here.” Whatever does that mean?

Most importantly in ends with the statement that “it is important to fully appreciate that no health risk is identified in this paper.” So what is it all about?

According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer  (funded in part by WHO, the World Health Organization) using a cell phone for as little as 30 minutes may increase your risk of getting a brain tumor (glioma). The study is reported to have included 13,000 participants over 10 years.

At the other extreme is a group known as Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Application of Science and Technology (PSRAST). It claims that a considerable body of evidence (not quantified) proves, beyond reasonable doubt, that microwave radiation from mobile phones and cordless phones cause a significantly increased risk for brain tumors. In addition, increasing evidence is indicating that it causes, disturbed brain function, damage to the genes and other disturbances.

It goes on to claim that present safety norms allow mobile phones to emit far too strong radiation to be safe. These safety norms are contradicted by scientific evidence. Research indicates that much weaker radiation than what is allowed in mobile and cordless phones may have harmful effects.

The PSRAST goes on to make the following unequivocal conclusions:

  • You should be very restrictive with using mobile phones and cordless phones. Reduce the usage to very few and brief calls. In stead, use landlines as much as possible.
  • People below twenty should use mobile phones that allow SMS messages only, but no talking, because the risks are far higher in young people.
  • Further buildup of the mobile phone net must be stopped. Steadily increasing evidence indicates that it is too harmful to be acceptable for common usage. Moreover, it has been repeatedly confirmed that the radiation from base stations is harmful to health.

Seems to be no doubt there! However, whilst the JAMA report suggests that while no link has been proven between adverse health effects and cell phone radiation, the human brain is sensitive in some way to the electromagnetic waves coming off of a cell phone.

The Insider has done his own investigation and has come up with some very conclusive visual proof that if you have a brain made of popcorn you are in deep trouble.