Radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation-induced behavioral changes and their possible basis

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2019 Oct;26(30):30693-30710. doi: 10.1007/s11356-019-06278-5. Epub 2019 Aug 28.


The primary objective of mobile phone technology is to achieve communication with any person at any place and time. In the modern era, it is impossible to ignore the usefulness of mobile phone technology in cases of emergency as many lives have been saved. However, the biological effects they may have on humans and other animals have been largely ignored and not been evaluated comprehensively. One of the reasons for this is the speedy uncontrollable growth of this technology which has surpassed our researching ability. Initiated with the first generation, the mobile telephony currently reaches to its fifth generation without being screened extensively for any biological effects that they may have on humans or on other animals. Mounting evidences suggest possible non-thermal biological effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR) on brain and behavior. Behavioral studies have particularly concentrated on the effects of RF-EMR on learning, memory, anxiety, and locomotion. The literature analysis on behavioral effects of RF-EMR demonstrates complex picture with conflicting observations. Nonetheless, numerous reports suggest a possible behavioral effect of RF-EMR. The scientific findings about this issue are presented in the current review. The possible neural and molecular mechanisms for the behavioral effects have been proposed in the light of available evidences from the literature.

Keywords: Anxiety; Behavior; Blood-brain barrier; Brain; Learning and memory; Locomotion; Mobile phone; Radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anxiety / etiology*
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / radiation effects
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Brain / radiation effects*
  • Cell Phone*
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects*
  • Electromagnetic Radiation
  • Humans
  • Learning / radiation effects
  • Locomotion / radiation effects
  • Memory / radiation effects*
  • Radio Waves*