What is mobile radiation?

How would you describe mobile radiation?


All electronic devices contain information which warns against keeping your device in direct contact with your head or body.[1] Few people are aware of this and even fewer follow the instructions provided.

Non-ionizing (electromagnetic) radiation or NIR is omnipresent. Mobile phone users in particular should be aware that electronic devices emit non-ionizing radiation, which may have some negative effects on their health.[2]

Lower frequency radiation is generated by a laptop’s internal parts, such as the hard drive.
Higher frequency radiation is emitted by the transmitters of the laptop when it tries to connect with a WiFi network, wireless devices or Bluetooth receivers.

Non-ionizing radiation is located at the low end of the electromagnetic spectrum and is a form of low-energy radiation. This kind of radiation is also known as extremely low frequency (ELF) radiation. Non-ionizing radiation differs from ionizing (IR) radiation because non-ionizing radiation doesn’t carry enough energy to break molecular bonds and ionize atoms, ionizing radiation does.

We are in the midst of a paradigm shift when it comes to our understanding of the biological effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic frequencies generated by our use of electricity, electronics and wireless technology. Ionizing radiation (IR) has enough energy to break chemical bonds and is known to cause cancer. However, because nonionizing radiation (NIR) lacks this energy, it was assumed that these lower frequencies cannot be carcinogenic. This concept is based on a flawed assumption. NIR can and does cause cancer not by increasing the production of free radicals but by interfering with the repair mechanisms that neutralize free-radicals. While the mechanisms differ, the consequences of both NIR and IR are the same–oxidative stress resulting in cellular damage including cancer. [3] (Dr. Magda Havas, 2017,Associate Professor of Environmental & Resource Studies at Trent University)

People are exposed to ELF radiation emitted by natural (e.g. sun, soil) or artificial sources (e.g. mobile phones, laptops). All of these electronic devices emit radio frequency radiation.

It is common knowledge that radiation has always been a natural part of the environment. [4] [5] [6] [7] Radiation is energy that comes from a specific source and is able to penetrate various materials. The sources of radiation are divided into two main categories: natural and man-made.

All living things on Earth are exposed to a background level of radiation from naturally occurring substances both on Earth and in space. For example, we can name terrestrial radiation (which can be found in soil) and cosmic radiation, from the Sun (and other sources).

Man-made radiation has been emitted for about 150 years since the inventions of the industrial revolution went into widespread use, now we’re part of the digital revolution. Artificial sources of radiation are claimed to be responsible for about 21% of the total exposure. An even higher level of exposure (50%) may affect industrialized countries due to the more widespread access to technology.[8]


1. Samsung (2014) Check the SAR value [Online] https://www.samsung.com/sar/sarMain?site_cd=&prd_mdl_name=SM-N900A&selNatCd=US&languageCode=EN (Accessed: 11.07.2018) :leftwards_arrow_with_hook:

2. Khazaei, S. et al. (2016) The Relationship Between Mobile Phone Use and the Risk of Cancer [Online] http://jjhres.com/en/articles/21916.html (Accessed: 30.01.2018) :leftwards_arrow_with_hook:

3. Havas, M. (2017) Carcinogenic effects of NonIonizing Radiation: A Paradigm Shift [Online] https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/ac4b/f6390bd50f71b444ad1d26bb4973ba7674c0.pdf (Accessed: 06.02.2018) :leftwards_arrow_with_hook:

4. Siemens Healthcare GmbH (2018) Radiation Sources [Online] https://www.medicalradiation.com/facts-about-radiation/radiation-sources/ (Accessed: 26.07.2017) :leftwards_arrow_with_hook:

5. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (2008) Natural Background Sources [Online]
https://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/radiation/around-us/sources/nat-bg-sources.html (Accessed: 26.07.2017) :leftwards_arrow_with_hook:

6. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (2011) Natural and Man-Made Radiation Sources [Online] https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/basic-ref/students/for-educators/06.pdf (Accessed: 26.07.2017) :leftwards_arrow_with_hook:

7. Mirion (2014) Man-Made Sources of Radiation [Online] https://www.mirion.com/introduction-to-radiation-safety/man-made-sources-of-radiation/ (Accessed: 26.07.2017) :leftwards_arrow_with_hook:

8. Medical Radiation (2012) Man-made radiation [Online] https://www.medicalradiation.com/facts-about-radiation/radiation-sources/man-made-radiation/ (Accessed: 22.08.2017) :leftwards_arrow_with_hook:


Two fundamental errors in the article

  1. Microwave (MW) ovens do NOT contain radioactive material and therefore there is NO radio-active radiation.
  2. There is absolutely no evidence that the Soviets banned MW ovens. Every reference to this can be traced ultimately to an article by a William Kopp who did not supply any sources.

The first error is probably due to a confusion between radiation and radio-activity. They are NOT the same. Most radiation is not radioactive. Radiation is simply energy radiating out from a source and includes sound, light and radiant heat (which is why you can feel a bonfire even though convective and conductive heat has gone upwards). Radiation is split between non ionising (radio, light, MW) and ionising (UV, X-rays and gamma rays). Compare MW to light rather than gamma rays. They turn on and off in identical ways, light is great (and necessary for life) at certain levels but can be lethal at very heavy doses, neither are carcinogenic at normal exposure levels (it’s the UV in sunlight that causes skin cancer).

The split mentioned one of the comments (Nick) between natural and man-made is artificial. UV rays from the sun are identical to UV rays from a black lamp. It’s just that from the sun they are masked by the visible light but their effects are the same. Likewise, the MW from space and the sun are identical to an oven’s (don’t get caught by a common claim of "pulsed MWs, this is nonsense).

The risks stated in the article are really for long term exposure to MWs, e.g., a radar technician. MW oven exposure wouldn’t be a problem unless you put your nose to the door every day and only use the MW oven for cooking. Most people put something in the MW oven and walk away and do something else.