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Wireless Radiation and Brain Tumor Risks


Here is a summary of Dr. Ronald B. Herberman's Congressional Testimony on 09/25/2008. He has served as the Founding Director of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) since 1985, and as the Founding Director of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Cancer Centers since 2001.
  • Dr. Herberman recognized that there was sufficient evidence to justify the precautionary advisories that had been issued in other countries, to alert people about the possibility of harm from long-term, frequent cell phone use, especially by young children.
    • There is no debate that radiation emitted by cell phones is absorbed into the brain — dramatically more so in children than in adults (see picture above).
    • Shortly before Dr. Herberman sent his precautionary message to faculty and staff at UPCI and UPMC Cancer Centers, a number of countries including France, Germany and India, and the province of Ontario, Canada, issued similar advice, suggesting that exposure to RF radiation from cell phones be limited. Very soon after the UPCI advisory was issued, Israel's Health Ministry endorsed his recommendations, and Toronto's Department of Public Health advised that teenagers and young children limit their use of cell phones, to avoid potential health risks.
    • In May, 2011, the World Health Organization announced that cell phone use is “possibly carcinogenic to humans.
  • Dr. Davis and Dr. Herberman consulted with international experts in the biology of radiofrequency (RF) effects and the epidemiology of brain tumors, and with experts in neurology, oncology and neurosurgery at UPCI. Without exception, all of the experts contacted confirmed their impressions that there was a sound basis to make the case for precaution, especially since there are simple and practical measures that can be taken, to be able to continue to use cell phones while substantially reducing the potential hazards.
  • There are several well-designed studies that suggest that long-term (10 years or more) use of wireless phone devices is associated with a significant increase in risk for glioblastoma (glioma), a very aggressive and fatal brain tumor, and acoustic neuroma, a benign tumor of the auditory nerve that is responsible for our hearing. Note that Senator Kennedy has been reported having glioma and he sure is a frequent wireless device user [2].
  • In 2008, Dr. Lennart Hardell[7], a distinguished oncologist and senior author on several cell phone studies in Sweden that have shown increases in brain tumor risk with long-term use[5].
    • All his studies that looked at cell phone users for at least a decade, found a significantly increased risk.
    • His study shows that for who had used cell phones for a decade, all showed an increase risk for developing a glioma (a malignant tumor of the supporting tissue of the brain) on the same side of the head where the phone was used, and this increased risk ranged from a low of 20% increased risk for low grade (less aggressive) glioma to more than 400% increase risk of high grade (very aggressive) glioma.
    • Study also indicates that those who regularly used cell phones had twice the risk of malignant brain tumors overall, and four times the risk if they were high users of phones.
    • For acoustic neuroma, Dr. Hardell found that regular cell phone users had a 70% greater risk. In long term users, acoustic neuromas are twice as frequent in regular, long-term users.
    • In 2008, Dr. Hardell reported at a meeting of the Royal Society of London that very frequent and long term users of cell phones by teenagers that started before age 20, resulted in a five times higher rate of brain cancer by the age of 29, when compared with non-cell phone users[5].
      • Based on these findings and the increased absorption into the brains of the young, the French Ministry of Health advised that children should be discouraged from using cell phones, a position also taken by British, German and other authorities.


A 2017 systematic review and meta-analysis looking at cellphone use and glioma risk — while noting that current evidence is of poor and limited quality — also found that long-term cellphone use (minimum of 10 years) may be associated with an increased risk of glioma.[16]

Left: Before phone call

Right: After a 15-minute phone call

Source: BioInitiative Working Group


  1. Tumors and Cell Phone use: What the Science Says
  2. After year with cancer, Kennedy focuses on legacy
  3. Cell Phones Can Kill You (But Not How You Think)
  4. WHO: Cell phone use can increase possible cancer risk
  5. Hardell L, Carlberg M, Söderqvist F, Mild KH, Morgan LL. Long-term use of cellular phones and brain tumours: increased risk associated with use for > or =10 years. Occup Environ Med. 2007 Sep;64(9):626-32. Epub 2007 Apr 4.
  6. Children who use mobile phones are 'five times more likely to develop brain tumours
  7. Lennart Hardell, Professor, Department of Oncology, University Hospital.SE-701 85 Örebro, Sweden, Phone + 46 19 602 10 00, (
  8. Radio Frequency Radiation Emissions of Wireless Communication Devices
  9. Symptoms of Brain Tumor (Travel and Health)
  10. Cell Phone Radiation Could be Changing Your Brain
  11. BioInitiative Working Group
  12. Stop Smart Meter and Take Back Your Power (Travel and Health)
  13. Disease risk rises for health care workers exposed to radiation on the job
  14. Hardell L, Carlberg M. Using the Hill viewpoints from 1965 for evaluating strengths of evidence of the risk for brain tumors associated with use of mobile and cordless phones. Rev Environ Health. 2013;28(2-3):97-106.
  15. Cell Phone Brain Tumor Risk?
  16. Mobile phone use and glioma risk: A systematic review and meta-analysis
  17. McCain's Brain Tumor From Cellphone? (Dr. Mercola)