Mobile Phones – the Truth

The famous Interphone Cellphone Study is greatly flawed

A group of 50 experts has shown that the the Interphone study covering 13 countries is deeply flawed.

After thorough analysis they concluded that it has several serious methodological flaws, all of which distort the result in the same direction, so that the risk of cancer seems considerably smaller than it really is.

This is highly suspect. If the errors were caused accidentally, or due to ignorance (which is highly unlikely because many highly competent researchers were involved), at least some of the errors would have had the opposite effect. A fairly good measure of skill and creativity is required to be able to distort an epidemiological study in a way that all the flaws cause a dimininuition of the apparent risk. Here is a list of the most important flaws.

Deficiencies in Interphone study

  • Insufficiently exposed subjects were included. It is very well known that brain tumors appear after at least 10-15 years of exposure to radiation. A significant majority of the subjects had been exposed for less than 10 years (the result is a great underestimation of risk).
  • Exclusion of exposed people. Users of the cordless phones were considered “unexposed” to microwaves, although the exposure to this radiation is the same as from mobile phones (this gives the false impression that brain tumors occur more frequently than they actually do among unexposed persons, which is an imporant source of error, because the use of cordless phones is very widespread).
  • Exclusion of children and young adults. This is a serious deficiency, because young people are particularly prone to develop brain tumors (again, this leads to an underestimation of risk).
  • Exclusion of many types of brain tumors  causes an underestimation of risk.
  • Exclusion of people who had died of brain tumors, or were too ill to be interviewed. This causes an underestimation of the risk.
  • A too large proportion of invited people refused to participate (41%). The general opinion among scientists is that when such a large proportion has refused to participate in a study, it precludes the possibility to make reliable conclusions. Scientific journals do not usually accept reports from trials with such a large proportion of refusals because it is considered to have no scientific value.

This is fraudulent science

These flaws are so numerous, serious and elementary that it seems extremely unlikely that they have occurred by accident. In plain language, this is most likely the case of fraudulent research.

These flaws are of the same nature as those found in other industry-sponsored studies, see Research misconduct behind industry-sponsored studies?
It seems likely that many of the participant reachers have been openly or covertly industry-sponsored, because no competent or serious research institutions would want to participate in so flawed research out of concern for its reputation (a researcher or an institution’s reputation is important for its credibility and ability to receive research grants – if they do participate, there is the danger that they become completely dependent on the industry for funding, because independent funds do not support researchers and research institutes that produce obviously flawed studies).

The study is meaningless – confirms what is known since long time

The study is basically meaningless. If it would have lacked said methodological shortcomings, it would, at most, have proved what one already knows, namely that it takes more than 10 years to develop visible brain tumors.

The suspicion arises that the industry wanted to make a big media story of a this useless material in the same way as many times before when it sponsored studies on people with too short exposition to develop brain tumors. Every time that such a study was published, the industry made a global media drive using it for “informing” people that cell phone radiation is harmless.

Source 1: Hardell group’s re-analysis of the Interphone methods

The more you call the greater brain tumor risk

390% increased risk for brain tumors

Professor Lennart Hardell, Sweden has made a large study with 1251 cases of brain tumors compared to controls. The risk increased the more years and the more hours per year the phone had been used. The increased risk was 390% for mobile phones and 190% for cordless phones. The greatest risk was for Astrocytoma, the most common malignant brain tumor.

Below you find a brain scan showing a tumor at the right side (blue rounded area), close to were the mobile phone had been held.


This study that was of high scientific quality, differently from most industry-sponsored studies, showed a clear dose-response relationship between the amount of radiation and risk.

This adds importantly to the evidence that mobile phone radiation increases the risk for brain tumors. The evidence, based on a scientific interdisciplinary assessment (and not just epidemiological evidence), has actually long been strong enough to conclude that mobile phones cause brain tumors. Almost only industry-sponsored studies indicate the opposite, while almost all independent studies have reported an increased risk.

This study adds to our conviction that industry-sponsored epidemiological studies finding no tumor risk are faked and should not be considered, see also Corrupt Science at our website. Even if the methodology of professor Hardell is of high quality, epidemiology has such weakness that it cannot be used solely for assessing risk, see “Mobile phone risks are considerably underestimated“.

Cordless phones doubled the heart rate

The intensity of exposure was 200 times lower than approved by safety norms

Cordless phones impacted heart rate according to research by Professor Magda Havas of Trent University, Canada. See diagram below.

Doubling of heart rate during exposure to cordless phone radiation

“DECT” marks the period of exposition to cordless phone radiation. Immediately at the start of radiation exposure, the pulse frequency almost doubled (lower blue peaks – 122 and 129 beats per minute respectively) and returned to normal (66 BPM) immediately as the phone was turned off. The subject did not know when he was exposed.

The study was double-blind, that is, neither the subjects nor the experimenters knew when the radiation occurred.

Also, irregular heart beating occurred at exposure.

Most importantly, the radiation exposure was 200 times lower than approved for cellphones, according to federal guidelines in Canada and the US (1000 microW/cm2, 10mW/m2).

Dr Havas emphasizes that the results are relevant for mobile phones as well, because their radiation is in the same intensity and frequency range.

Link to source

Comment by PSRAST

The most important thing with this study is that it shows that normal levels of mobile phone usage can significantly affect a vital bodily function. Consequently it overthrows the notion that mobile radiation can only have thermal effects (local warming), a notion that lies at the basis of of current safety standards. This result indicates that the radiation intensity has to be lowered considerably to ensure that no adverse health effects arise from radiation.

It is conceivable that this effect occurs through the sudden large influx of calcium in the heart, as demonstrated by other research (Rao et al). Sudden calcium influx into cardiac cells has been found to trigger irregular heart beat (Bjorn Knollman, Vanderbilt University). The effect on calcium flow is instantaneous. It is striking that the heart rate increase in the study above also was instantaneous. One can speculate on the possibility that the microwave pulsation may maintain the frequencyincrease.


Rao VS, Titushkin IA, Moros EG, Pickard WF, Thatte HS, Cho MR. Nonthermal effects of radiofrequency-field exposure on calcium dynamics in stem cell-derived neuronal cells: elucidation of calcium pathways. Radiat Res. 2008 Mar;169(3):319-29.


Replication obstructed

At our website we commented in 2010:

“Further confirmation of this kind of result as planned by Dr Olle Johansson would cost the mobile phone industry billions, because all phones need to be rebuilt and the base station network will have to be adapted to the reduced radiation levels which will be extremely costly. Therefore the industry can be expected to use their huge power to “neutralize” this threat in every possible way including the usual suppression of research with obstruction of “undesirable” research, harrassment of scientists, generation of falsified research and unfounded bagatellizing statements by corrupt top scientists, see Corrupt Science“.

Unfortunately, the foreboded obstruction did happen. Professor Olle Johansson, who works at the Karolinska Institute, was prevented by the Institute to carry through the planned replication because his lab was taken away from him almost immediately after he had declared the intention to do the replication.

A coincidence? What we know is that the Institute has obtained at least one big grant from the Mobile Phone Industry. Also the Karolinska Institute is ranked among the top research institutes in the world, famous for being responsible for selecting the Nobel Prize winners in medicine. A replication from such a prestigious institute would have had especially strong weight.

Evidence falsification behind many cellphone studies?

A study by the independent Power Watch discovered the remarkable differences between independent and industry-funded research for the benefit of industry interests. The most absurd result was an industry-funded study on brain tumors that reported 186% protective effect of mobile phone radiation. It seems that the researchers in their quest to please their sponsors went too far in falsifying evidence. See the picture below, where the study that found a protective effect is the red triangle at the arrow to the left of the chart below (red squares or triangles in the diagram mark the industry sponsored results and dark gray diamonds denote independent results).

The graph also shows that all independent studies found increased risk of brain tumors (although it was not always statististically significant). The farther to the right, the greater the risk and the higher up the more significant. Among industry-sponsored studies a large majority, reported no increased risk (= position to the left of midline), and in when increased risk reported it was not statististically significant or weakly significant ( pink or yellow-green zone).

Chart made by Power Watch and Lloyd Morgan.

Click here or on image to enlarge.

The article demonstrates serious weaknesses in industry-funded research of such a magnitude and character that it seems unlikely that scientists were so incompetent. It is probable that they were “encouraged” to manipulate the date or make a flawed design that misrepresents tumor incidence. See here for an example: “Deficiencies in the interphone study “.

Source: Power Watch: Bias and confounding. (There are several signs that the industry is abusing Web of Trust (WOT) to block unwanted websites including Power Watch so do ignore the warning sign.)

Researchers were sacked after refusing to blindly sign a research report

An increasingly common procedure is that the industry buys the name of a reputable scientist and write this article on your own without consulting the investigator. A scientist refused to sign because he was not allowed to see the research data behind the research report that he was supposed “author” (as promised by his employer). The dismissal came after pressure on his university from the industry  (universities have become increasingly economically dependent on industrial sponsorship).

Creating the false impression that the matter is controversial

This research misconduct has been designed to create the false impression that the matter is controversial among scientists. The disagreement exists only between independent scientists and pseudosciensts corrupted by the industry.

For virtually every study that demonstrated tumor risk, the industry has generated a study that denies the possibility with the obvious purpose to confuse the consumers.

This strategy was used by the tobacco companies who managed to delay the realization that smoking causes cancer for decades in this way (see ” Tobacco indstry manipulation of research “See footnote and “Doubt is Their Product “). We want to mention this, because today no one doubts the dangers of smoking, while many consumers, for said reasons, are confused about mobile phones risks.

Fortunately, the wind beginning to turn with the WHO finally starting to tell the truth in tumor risk issue, even if it is still more conservative than justified in this regard.

Corrupt experts create confusion and suppress the truth

Another factor that probably contributed to the distortion of the understanding is corrupt experts. Professor Anders Ahlbom, who was one of the world’s most influential experts regarding tumor risks from mobile telephone radiation managed to hide that he was mobile lobbyist for a long time. One wonders how many more consultative top experts  have hidden links with industry. It is very unlikely that Ahlbom is the only one at WHO, because he would have been unable to carry through the consistent denial of mobile phone hazards, disregarding strong and extensive evidence indicating harmfulness, without the support of a significant number of other WHO experts.

The industry has very strong financial reasons to secure support from leading experts in order to deny or downplay the risks and they have huge financial resources. A positive statement by an expert can be worth many millions. Also for this reason, it would be very naive to believe that Ahlbom is an exception, rather he is probably the tip of an iceberg of bribery.

If you look at independent data and take into account all the facts, not just epidemiological studies, it has long been clear beyond any doubt that cell phone radiation causes ab increased tumor risk, although it is quite small in absolute terms.

Although the increased risk of brain tumor is small at moderate mobile use, it grows the more you use your mobile, so you have to be restrictive in making phones, see “Security “. In addition, mobile phone radiation has important other negative effects on health.


Big business strategy to hide the truth

This strategy, which was successfully used by tobacco companies to deny the risk of cancer, has become the standard for corporate manipulation of truth.

  1. Sponsor research that supports the company’s interests
  2. Publishing research that supports the company’s interests.
  3. Suppress research that does not support the company’s interests.
  4. Criticize research that does not support the company’s interests ..
  5. Disseminate information about the company [doctored] interpretation of the risks to the laity.
  6. Disseminate information about the company [doctored] interpretation of the risks to policy makers.

This approach has unfortunately been successfully applied by the mobile phone industry and in addition critical scholars have been persecuted.


Copyright PSRAST 2011 You may quote or copy the article if you provide link to the source.

Radiation from mobile phones genererates cancer-inducing free radicals

It has been established beyond reasonable doubt by several scientific studies that microwave radiation, including that from mobile phones, can generate free radicals (FR). These are  chemically aggressive substances that can damage the genes, thereby increasing the risk of cancer,  infertility and birth defects.
Several high quality experimental studies have confirmed that such damage does occur.
The great strength of this research is that several different methods have been used by different scientists, all arriving at the same conclusion.
Consequently, there is no doubt whatsoever that mobile phone radiation brings about damage to the genes of such a kind that causes cancer, infertility and birth defects.

The positive aspect of these findings is that they indicate a way how we can reduce the risk of damage by mobile radiation, namely by preventing and reducing the generation of free radicals. This can be done by increasing our free radical defenses, by improving the body’s own defenses and by consuming substances that neutralize free radicals (antioxidants).
Below, we will present a thorough review of the research on the connection between cell phone radiation, free radicals and male sterility (by Nisarga et al, see reference below). It also reviews the mechanisms of carcinogenesis (development of cancer) due to radiation.
In brief, the conclusion is that there is strong evidence that free radicals are generated by mobile phone radiation. It is a well established fact that free radicals can cause cancer. The reviewer presents  multiple mechanisms how exactly this can occur due to the effects of mobile radiation.
A serious consequence of repititive exposure to mobile radiation, such as occurs in frequent daily usage of the phone, is that it can exhaust the body’s protective mechanisms against free radicals (this ).
The man’s testicles are particularly sensitive to mobile phone radiation because there is an especially great risk for oxidative stress in them. Sperm DNA damage has been the consequence of this vulnerability. This entails a risk of infertility and an increased rate of miscarriage and what is much worse, morbidity in the offspring, including birth defects and childhood cancer.

Summary of the article:

“Pathogenic mechanisms of cell phone radiation: oxidative stress and cancer generation, focusing on the male reproductive system.”

(Abbreviations: FR = free radicals)

Research has recently found that mobile phone radiation may result in the formation of the very powerful free radical supeoxid that can cause cancer.


Friedman et al. reported that cellphone radiation stimulates the enzyme NADH oxidase in cell walls (in HeLa cells – a special type of cells suitable for cell culture) and the co-production of superoxide (Friedman 2007). This effect of the radiation on the NADH oxidase can cause oxidative stress and carcinogenesis [cancer formation].Also another research group (Rao et al), have found evidence that the radiation affects the cell wall. They studied the impact of the cellphone radiaton on calcium and found that this substance increased significantly when cells were exposed to non-thermal radition, that is so weak radiation that there was no heating of the tissues. This indicates that the radiation influences the cell wall as calcium increase in the cell occurs through increased influx of calcium through the cell wall.

This would explain, among other things, the significant increase in heart rate (see Cordless phones doubled the heart rate) that mobile phone radiation can cause./PSRAST

During the last decade, animal studies demonstrated that oxidative stress is created by the mobile phone radiation, (eg Ozguner). This can occur either by increasing the formation of FR and/or reduction of the enzymes that neutralize FR. Studies have also shown that various antioxidants, including vitamins C and E, reduce the oxidative stress caused by cellpone radiation.
Chronic exposure to mobile phone radiation has been found to reduce the body’s most powerful defense mechanisms against free radicals (Catalase, Superoxide Dismutas (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px)), see Agarwal et al.

Recently, increased FR production in sperm cells from humans has been found as a result of the radiation. Furthermore, a damage to the sperm cells as a result of oxidative stress was demonstrated (Agarwal et al).

Other scientists have noted that sperm cells are particularly vulnerable to oxidative stress because of the large accumulation of substances that are especially vulnerable to free radicals while there is a shortage of space for protective enzymes, see Iuliis et al .


In addition, oxidative stress in these cells disturbs not only their capacity for fertilization but also contributes to DNA damage in sperm. The latter has in turn been associated with poor fertility, an increased incidence of miscarriage and morbidity in the offspring, including childhood cancer.

The review also discusses the formation mechanisms of cancer due to mobile phone radiation and present several different mechanisms by which cancer can arise from mobile radiation.

Comment by PSRAST

The fact that researchers using different methods of investigation, all arrive at the same result has strong evidential power. The following elements are necessary for conclusive scientific proof of a harmful effect of any kind:

  • That it can be theoretically explained how the damage occurs.
  • That the presence of the damaging factor has been confirmed.
  • That the predicted damage does occur.
  • That the effect has been confirmed by different scientist and the proof is especially strong when different methods have been used

All these criteria are amply fulfilled in the case of mobile phone radiation.

  • It is well known how free radicals cause DNA damage
  • It has been proven that microwave radiation generates free radicals
  • The predicted DNA damage has been amply confirmed at exposure to mobile phone radiation
  • Different measurement methods used by different scientists confirm the same effect

It has been established by a very large body of scientific studies,  beyond any reasonable doubt, that DNA damage is associated with cancer, birth defects and childhood cancer. This is an established truth that all scientists agree about.

Therefore, it can be concluded beyond any doubt that microwave radiation from mobile phones increases the cancer risk, and in addition causes other serious consequences of radiation damage including childhood cancer and birth defects.

Only researchers who have a very narrow perspective, and thus are incompetent to assess the mobile phone risks, or are corrupt can deny this. Unfortunately such scientists have obviously dominated the expert bodies assessing the mobile phone radiation risks. This includes WHO:

One of the most influential experts in the world on assessment of radiation risks, Anders Ahlbom, Chairman of the WHO expert group on radiation damage , has been revealed as a covert mobile industry lobbyist (and therefore he was dismissed from his position).

His great influence explains why WHO has long denied any hazard from mobile phones in spite of ample evidence of the opposite. It is satisfactory to find that immediately after Ahlbom was shamefully dismissed from WHO, the expert group changed its position and confirmed that mobile phone radiation may be carcinogenic. For more, see my blog about the Ahlbom case.


Review: Nisarg R Desai, Kavindra K, Kesari, Ashok Agarwal. Pathophysiology of cell phone radiation: oxidative stress and carcinogenesis with focus on male reproductive system. Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2009; 7: 114.

Agarwal A, Desai NR, Makker K, Varghese A, Mouradi R, Sabanegh E, Sharma R. Effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic waves (RF-EMW) from cellular phones on human ejaculated semen: an in vitro pilot study.  Fertil Steril. 2009 Oct;92(4):1318-25.

De Iuliis GN, Newey RJ, King BV, Aitken RJ.
Mobile phone radiation induces reactive oxygen species production and DNA damage in human spermatozoa in vitro. PLoS One. 2009 Jul 31;4(7):e6446.

Friedman J, Kraus S, Hauptman Y, Schiff Y, Seger R. Mechanism of short-term ERK activation by electromagnetic fields at mobile phone frequencies. Biochem J. 2007 Aug 1;405(3):559-68.

Rao VS, Titushkin IA, Moros EG, Pickard WF, Thatte HS, Cho MR. Nonthermal effects of radiofrequency-field exposure on calcium dynamics in stem cell-derived neuronal cells: elucidation of calcium pathways. Radiat Res. 2008 Mar;169(3):319-29.

Ozguner F, Bardak Y, Comlekci S. Protective effects of melatonin and caffeic acid phenethyl ester against retinal oxidative stress in long-term use of mobile phone: a comparative study. Mol Cell Biochem. 2006 Jan;282(1-2):83-8.

Copyright PSRAST 2011. You may quote parts or the whole of this article if you include a reference to the source =

WHO admits cellphones may cause brain tumors

WHO now admits that mobile phones may increase the risk for brain tumors

While formerly declaring that cellphones are innocous, referring to the Interphone study (that actually was inconclusive due to severe weaknesses, see here), now WHO has changed its stance after a meeting of 31 scientists from 14 countries (the IARC expert committee).

(Reuters) – Using a mobile phone may increase the risk of certain types of brain cancer in humans and consumers should consider ways of reducing their exposure, World Health Organisation WHO.L cancer experts said on Tuesday. A working group of 31 scientists from 14 countries meeting at the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer IARC.L said a review of all the available scientific evidence suggested cell phone use should be classified as “possibly carcinogenic”.
Source: Reuters press release May 31, 2011.

Comment by PSRAST

What a relief, this was long overdue. Could this change be a consequence of the recent discovery that the chairman, Anders Ahlbom of the IARC expert committee who made this statement has been found to be a mobile phone lobbyist and so lost his influence (see the next news item immediately below this one)?

So far, WHO has based its opinon on the Interphone study that we and other scientists have critisized heavily for its numerous flaws. Through the new position, regarding mobile radiation, the IARC expert group discredits the Interphone study, evidently acknowledging its inconclusiveness. More about the flaws of the interphone study.