An Exploration of the Effects of Radiofrequency Radiation Emitted by Mobile Phones and Extremely Low Frequency Radiation on Thyroid Hormones and Thyroid Gland Histopathology

Cureus. 2021 Aug 20;13(8):e17329. doi: 10.7759/cureus.17329. eCollection 2021 Aug.


The use of mobile phones has widely increased over the last two decades. Mobile phones produce a radiofrequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF), a form of non-ionizing radiation. In contrast to the ionizing radiation proven to cause DNA damage, the harmful effects of non-ionizing radiation on the human body have not been discovered yet. The thyroid gland is among the most susceptible organs to mobile phone radiation due to its location in the anterior neck. Our purpose in this literature review is to explore the effects of the electromagnetic field (EMF), especially radiofrequency emitted from mobile phones, on thyroid hormones and thyroid gland histopathology. We searched PubMed and Google Scholar databases for relevant studies published after the year 2000, using the following keywords: 'cell phones', 'mobile phones', 'telephones', 'electromagnetic fields', 'radiofrequency radiation', 'microwaves', 'thyroid gland', 'thyroid hormones', and 'thyroid cancer'. Our review revealed that mobile phone radiofrequency radiation (RFR) might be associated with thyroid gland insufficiency and alterations in serum thyroid hormone levels, with a possible disruption in the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis. The review also showed histopathological changes in the thyroid gland follicles after exposure of rats to non-ionizing radiation. The results were directly related to the amount and duration of exposure to EMF radiation. Further human studies exploring thyroid gland hormones, microscopic morphology, and thyroid cancer are highly recommended for future researches.

Keywords: cell phones; electromagnetic field; low-frequency radiation; microwaves; mobile phones; radiofrequency; thyroid cancer; thyroid gland; thyroid hormones.

Publication types

  • Review