Do Cell phones Increase The Risk Of Cancer?

Written by Timothy Okooboh

Photo Credit: Pexels

Take The Poll

Think about this for a moment: how would your life be for 24 hrs without your smartphone?

What about a week or a month of no WhatsApp, no Facebook, no Twitter, no Instagram, no YouTube, or even your amazing apps?”

“Why should this be?”, you may ask. Well, we’re only imagining. Actually, deciding to do that really takes the biscuit.

Interestingly, cell phones — especially smartphones, have become our inseparable companions. Their features and functions make a lot of things easier to do and they create fun as well.

But there’ve been concerns regarding the risks that the longterm use of cell phones pose to our health. One of such worries is the possibility of cell phones to cause cancer, especially brain cancer.

So the big question is: do cell phones increase the risk of cancer?

Why The Concern?

Cell phones emit radiofrequency radiation from their antennas. Radiofrequency radiation is a type of electromagnetic radiation.

X-ray, another type of electromagnetic radiation, is a known human carcinogen.  The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the National Toxicology Program (NTP) classify X-ray as a “known human carcinogen”.

So, the worry stems from the fact that exposure to electromagnetic radiations such as x-ray and gamma rays cause cancer.


X-ray is an ionizing radiation. That is, it’s a high energy radiation, which explains why it’s carcinogenic.

But radiofrequency radiation is a non-ionizing radiation. That is, it’s a low energy radiation.


What Do Experts Say?

The answer to whether the use of cell phones cause cancer isn’t an outright YES or NO since the findings of researchers have been inconsistent.

While most studies show that cell phones do not cause cancer, few studies have demonstrated a possible link between them.

In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer stated that radiofrequency radiation from cell phones is “possibly carcinogenic to humans”  and further research has to be carried out.

In 2018, the National Toxicology Program released a report and affirms that the results of researches are still inconclusive.

The Food and Drug Administration released a statement saying, “Based on this current information, we believe the current safety limits for cell phones are acceptable for protecting the public health.”

Therefore, going by what expert agencies say, there’s no need for fear as to whether cell phones increase our risk of cancer. Findings remain inconclusive and more research is required.
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If Concerned, What Can You Do?

Despite all that has been said, what can you do if your instincts tell you that your cell phone could cause harm?

To allay your fears, you can limit your use of cell phones. This is the best way to reduce exposure to radiofrequency radiation.

Also, use an earpiece when receiving calls, especially long calls.

If you don’t have an earpiece, use the speaker mode of your phone (if the conversation isn’t private). This will help to keep the phone away from your head.

Extra Giveaway: What is Digital Detox?

Digital detox is a period of time away from devices that connect to the internet e.g smartphones and laptops. It’s recommended for people with internet addiction.

Internet addiction means spending a lot of time online such as making use of your smartphone while on the bed, in the toilet, while eating, driving, in a meeting, etc.

It can cause an inability to sleep, difficulty to concentrate, anxiety, itchy eyes, tiredness, neck pain, and headache.

Therefore, when necessary, you may want to consider doing a digital detox or recommend it to someone you think it may help.

So that’s it!

But have you ever had concerns about cell phones causing cancer or any form of harm to one’s health? And what do you think about digital detox?

Leave your comments below and let’s talk.

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