A literature review of medical side effects from radio-frequency energy in the human environment: involving cancer, tumors, and problems of the central nervous system

J Microw Power Electromagn Energy. 2003;38(2):103-23. doi: 10.1080/08327823.2003.11688492.


Occupational or residential exposures to radiofrequency energy (RFE), including microwaves, have been alleged to result in health problems. This paper is a review of the recent medical and scientific literature (from mid-1998 through 2002) dealing with possible effects of RFE on brain tumors and malignancies, leukemia, other cancers, and the central nervous system. A large number of studies were related to exposures from cellular telephones. On the basis of previous reviews of older literature and the current review of recent literature, one can conclude that the evidence for any proven health effects (related to the topics above) of low-level RFE exposure is minimal.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Neoplasms / etiology
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / etiology*
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Radiation-Induced / etiology
  • Male
  • Microwaves*
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / etiology*
  • Neurasthenia / etiology
  • Radiation Injuries / etiology
  • Radio Waves*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / etiology*