You’re Right to Worry – Cellphone Radiation May Affect Your Memory

There have been concerns about the potential side effects of cellphone use practically since the moment mobile phones were invented. While these worries have been viewed as unfounded and just a tad hyperbolic by some, users have still been cautioned to plug in headphones when chatting for extended periods on our cellular devices to keep the devices as far away from our precious brains as possible. Just in case.

But let’s be real—how many of us actually use headphones to talk on our phones? A call comes in, and we answer it. There’s no time to fumble with all those knotted wires, right? Well, after reading about this study, headphones may not seem like such an inconvenience after all.

Cellphone Radiation and Memory

According to a recent study out of Switzerland, cellphone radiation may adversely affect adolescent memory.

Collecting data from nearly 700 Swiss adolescents, the study showed that the radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMF) emitted from cellular devices significantly impeded memory development in certain parts of the brain—over the course of only one year. Thankfully, RF-EMF radiation is non-ionizing, which means it is unlikely to be cancer-causing or damage DNA, but the potential for cumulative adverse effects is worrisome.

According to a press release, “Cumulative RF-EMF brain exposure from mobile phone use over one year may have a negative effect on the development of figural memory performance in adolescents.”

Located in the right hemisphere of the brain, figural memory suffered most in adolescents who generally spoke with the phone on the right side of their head. This strengthens the results of an earlier 2015 study that reached similar conclusions.

Group of multicultural friends using smartphone outdoors - People hands addicted by mobile smart phone - Technology concept with connected men and women - Shallow depth of field on vintage filter tone

The RF-EMF exposure from non-head use, like texting or playing games, resulted in marginal brain exposure and did not have a pronounced effect on memory. It seems that holding the phone against the head and exposing the brain to its max radiation, day after day, is the major risk factor. Texting is fairly innocuous in this case.

How to Minimize Your Brain’s Exposure to Cellphone Radiation

Does this mean we have to use headphones again to chat on the phone? Perhaps. But, ugh, those tiny tangled wires are the worst!

Maybe wireless Bluetooth headphones are the answer? Not so fast. According to Consumer Reports, wireless headphones and other recent technology use the same type of radiofrequency technology as cellphones. While the dose of radiation is significantly lower in Bluetooth and WiFi devices, it is unclear what sort of cumulative damage could build up over time with consistent use.

There is no definitive proof that cellphone radiation seriously harms human health, but there isn’t definitive proof that it doesn’t, either. Exert caution when talking on your phone for longer periods of time—use a speaker or some old-school wired headphones.

Do you have concerns about the radiation emitted from Wifi routers, Bluetooth devices, and cellphones? What steps do you take to limit your exposure? Share your best tips with the community in the comments section below.

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Images via Thinkstock.

81 comments

Chad Anderson
Chad Anderson1 months ago

Thank you.

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Past Member
Past Member 1 months ago

I don't use my cellphone for two-way conversations any more, just for checking various messages.

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Chad Anderson
Chad Anderson1 months ago

Thank you.

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Mike R
Mike R2 months ago

Thanks

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Nena C
Nena C2 months ago

it is believable......

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hELEN hEARFIELD
hELEN hEARFIELD2 months ago

tyfs

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Paulo R
Paulo R2 months ago

ty

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Dennis Hall
Dennis Hall2 months ago

Thanks.

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Margie FOURIE
Margie FOURIE2 months ago

It hasnt been proven one way or the other. Cellphone companies say no, but the rest of the public thinks otherwise.

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Kim Wildey-Vidal
Kim Wildey-Vidal2 months ago

I have wondered for years why so many people talked into their phones as if they were walkie-talkies (super annoying by the way - I don't like hearing personal conversations or arguments on the street). Thankfully my conversations are short. And I text mostly. Why does this article focus mostly on teens? What about the rest of us older folks?

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