Effects of electromagnetic radiation of mobile phones on the central nervous system

Bioelectromagnetics. 2003 Jan;24(1):49-62. doi: 10.1002/bem.10068.


With the increasing use of mobile communication, concerns have been expressed about the possible interactions of electromagnetic radiation with the human organism and, in particular, the brain. The effects on neuronal electrical activity, energy metabolism, genomic responses, neurotransmitter balance, blood-brain barrier permeability, cognitive function, sleep, and various brain diseases including brain tumors are reviewed. Most of the reported effects are small as long as the radiation intensity remains in the nonthermal range, and none of the research reviewed gives an indication of the mechanisms involved at this range. However, health risks may evolve from indirect consequences of mobile telephony, such as the sharply increased incidence rate of traffic accidents caused by telephony during driving, and possibly also by stress reactions which annoyed bystanders may experience when cellular phones are used in public places. These indirect health effects presumably outweigh the direct biological perturbations and should be investigated in more detail in the future.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / radiation effects
  • Brain / radiation effects*
  • Brain Neoplasms / etiology
  • DNA / radiation effects
  • Electroencephalography
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Radio Waves / adverse effects*
  • Sleep / radiation effects
  • Telephone*


  • DNA