In a discussion held about the risk of cell phones and high-tech toys and its preventive measures, health and technology experts, including Dr. Ronald Melnick, a former toxicologist for the National Institutes for Health (NIH), warned families to be more careful in purchasing wireless devices, smartphones, toys, and virtual reality (VR) headsets, since these emit microwave radiation "that may cause cancer and infertility."
Small amounts of microwave radiation are put out by smartphones and other wireless devices when they connect to the internet. While the energy released is nowhere near as strong as those from ultraviolet radiation or x-ray, studies have found that our constant proximity to our devices can increase the likelihood of cancer and infertility in the parts of the body they come in contact with. (Related: Cell phone radiation – is your cell phone killing your sperm?)
Moreover, our bodies are subjected to surges of radiation every time our phone tries to connect to a weak network or transmit huge amounts of information. Scientists caution that erratic exposures pose a high risk. Studies have identified where we put our mobile phones in our bodies and the risk that area has. If a man puts his phone in his pocket, for example, he may have an increased risk of infertility. Likewise, when people frequently put their phones to their ears, it heightens the risk of getting ear and brain cancers.
The NIH has previously released a toxicology study regarding phone radiation in 2015, which Dr. Melnick was a part of. The findings, which was a result of in vivo testing of mice subjected to electromagnetic radiation from childhood, stated that exposure to greater intensities of radio frequency (RF) radiation could directly lead to rare forms of brain and heart cancer.
"Results from that study showed that rats developed tumors, gliomas (brain tumors) and malignant [tumors] of the heart. In addition, there was DNA damage in brain cells of exposed animals," he explained.