By Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D. The first study on the short-term effects of Long Term Evolution (LTE), the fourth generation cell phone technology, has been published online in the peer-reviewed journal, Clinical Neurophysiology. (1) In a controlled experiment, researchers exposed the right ear of 18 participants to LTE cellphone radiation for 30 minutes.
The source of the radiation was 1 centimeter from the ear, and the absorbed amount of radiation in the brain was well within international (ICNIRP) cell phone legal limits. The researchers employed a double-blind, crossover, randomized and counter-balanced design to eliminate any possible study biases.The resting state brain activity of each participant was measured by magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) at two times — after exposure to LTE microwave radiation, and after a sham exposure.
The results demonstrated that LTE exposure affected brain neural activity not only in the closer brain region but also in the remote region, including the left hemisphere of the brain. The study helps explain the underlying neural mechanism for the remote effects of microwave radiation in the brain.
In 2011, Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, published a similar study in the Journal of the American Medical Association that received worldwide news coverage. Dr. Volkow reported that a 50 minute exposure to CDMA, a second generation cell phone technology, increased brain activity in the region of the brain closest to the cell phone. (2)
The current study establishes that short-term exposure to LTE microwave radiation affects the users’ brain activity. Although LTE is too new for the long-term health consequences to have been studied, we have considerable evidence that long-term cell phone use is associated with various health risks including increased risk of head and neck cancers, sperm damage, and reproductive health consequences for offspring (i.e., ADHD).
Cell phone users, especially pregnant women and children, should limit their cell phone use. Moreover, cell phone users should not keep their phones near their head, breasts or reproductive organs when using the phone or whenever the phone is turned on unless it is in airplane mode.
For more information about the health effects of cell phone radiation see my Electromagnetic Radiation Safety Web site at http://www.saferemr.com/.
Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D.
School of Public Health Health
University of California, Berkeley