Cellular telephones and effects on the brain: the head as an antenna and brain tissue as a radio receiver

Med Hypotheses. 2002 Dec;59(6):703-5. doi: 10.1016/s0306-9877(02)00298-0.


Headache and other neuropsychological symptoms occur in users of cellular telephones, and controversy exists concerning risks for brain cancer. We hypothesize these effects result from the head serving as an antenna and brain tissue as a radio receiver. The frequencies for transmission and reception by cellular telephones, about 900 MHz for analog and 1800 MHz for digital transmission, have wavelengths of 33-35 and 16-17 cm, respectively. Human heads are oval in shape with a short axis about 16 to 17 cm in length. Near the ear there will be a cross-section in the head with an axis half the wavelength of RF/MW transmissions of 900 MHz and equal to the wavelength of RF/MW transmissions at 1800 MHz. Therefore, the human head can serve as a lossy resonator for the electromagnetic radiation emitted by the cellular telephone, absorbing much of the energy specifically from these wavelengths. Brain cells and tissues demodulate the cell-phone's audio frequencies from the radio frequency carrier. Low audio frequencies in the ranges of alpha and beta waves affect these waves and thereby influence brain function. These effects state the case for a precautionary policy.

MeSH terms

  • Auditory Perception / physiology*
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Cell Phone*
  • Head
  • Humans
  • Models, Neurological
  • Radio*