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Effect of Radiofrequency of GSM Phones on the Brain

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There has been growing concern about the possible adverse health effects resulting from exposure to radiofrequency radiations (RFR), such as those from mobile communication devices. This radiation belongs to the type called non-ionizing radiation the health hazard of which remains debatable (Ayeni et al., 2011). The possible risks of microwaves for the human body has attracted interest since the 1960s (i.e., before the arrival of mobile phones), when radar and microwave ovens posed a possible health problem ( Salford et al., 2003). ( Oscar and Hawkins, 1977) performed early studies on effects of RF EMFs on the blood-brain barrier. They demonstrated that at very low energy levels (less than 10 W/m2),the fields in a restricted exposure window caused a significant leakage of 14C-mannitol, inulin, and also dextran (same molecular weight as albumin) from the capillaries into the surrounding cerebellar brain tissue. A recent in vitro study has shown that EMF at 1.8GHz increase the permeability of the blood-brain barrier to sucrose (Schirmacher et at. 2000). Shivers and colleagues (Shivers et al., 1987 and Prato et al.,1990) examined the effect of magnetic resonance imaging upon the rat brain. They showed that the combined exposure to RF EMFs and pulsed and static magnetic Fields gave rise to a significant pinocytotic transport of albumin from the capillaries into the brain. (Hassel et al., 1994) have shown that autologous albumin injected into the brain tissue of rats leads to damage to neurons at the injection site when the concentration of albumin in the injected solution is at least 25% of that in blood. The voluntary exposure of the brain to microwaves from hand-held mobile phones by one-fourth of the world's population has been called the largest human biologic experiment ever (Salford et al., 2001). When using mobile phone, electromagnetic wave is transferred to the body which causes health problems especially at the place near ear skull region where they are known to affect the neurones.

The possible risks of radio-frequency electromagnetic fields (RF EMFs) for the human body is a growing concern for our society (Hyland 2000). Most researchers in the field have dwelled on the question of whether RF EMFs may induce or promote cancer growth. Although some have indicated increased risk (Hardell et al., 2002 and Repacholi et al. 1997), most studies, including our own, have shown no effects (Salford et al. 1997a) or even a decreased risk (Adey et al., 1999).

The study of (Schörnborn et al., 1998) showed that the adult human head absorbs 80% of the radiation emitted by a cellular telephone. The extensive use of cellular communication devices is accompanied by public concerns about possible harmful effects on human health as a result of exposure to electromagnetic (EM) radiation from these devices(Purushothaman et al., 2013). Thermal biological effects of microwave radiation have been investigated both from the experimental and numerical view points(Elwasife 2012). Damaged neurons, as revealed by cresyl violet staining, were found amongst normal neurons in cerebral cortex, hippocampus and basal ganglia., with a maximum incidence around 2%, but in some restricted areas, dominated the picture. Heating and heat exchange have been viewed as measures of essential processes in the brain and other living tissues, and intrinsic thermal energy has been seen as setting an immutable threshold for external stimulation ([Adair, 1994]).

1.1`Background of the study

During recent years, GSM mobile phones (Global System for Mobile Telecommunications), the most powerful RF transmitters in our everyday environment, have become widely and increasingly used by the public and to date there is no clear evidence about their possible biological effects(Panagopoulos et al, 2004). A number of recent developments have resulted in renewed interest in and concern among scientists and the general public about the biological effects of microwave and radiofrequency radiation exposure (Cleary 1977). All life on earth is bathed in a sea of natural low-frequency electromagnetic (EM) fields from conception to death (Adey 2007). In recent times, many people have expressed an interest in learning if the use of cell phones is associated with cancer. Many have heard or read about possible links between cell phones and cancer, but conclusions are rarely definitive ( Zamanian and Hardiman, 2005). It is known that the numbers of people that are using mobile phone in the world are increasing daily (As of November 2011, there were more than 6 billion subscriptions worldwide). Thus it is very important for us to look into the possible danger that may be involved in the usage of phone, since it is a device that receive and send signal (information) using antenna by generating and receiving radio frequency wave. And it is known that radio wave is a form of electromagnetic wave (RIVUX G), which of cause have some danger to human body. Further, the human head is one of the most sensitive organs for EM radiation (Purushothaman et al., 2013). A common concern today, since more and more people are using cell phones than ever before, is that cell phone antennas radiate near a person’s head (Zamanian and Hardiman, 2005). Radio frequency (RF) electromagnetic radiation has been reported to produce a number of biological effects on biomolecules, cells, and whole organisms, including changes in intracellular ionic concentrations, the synthesis rate of different biomolecules, cell proliferation rates, the reproductive capacity of animals, etc (Panagopoulos et al, 2004). Thus the GSM have to be look into to know it effect on the brain. The phone manufacturers have silence on the danger that GSM can cause on the brain but never the less we have to look into the radiation produce from the GSM and known whether it cause any adverse effect on brain.

1.2 Problem statement

Radio Frequency (RF) engineers are faced many times with the following two questions: “What are the effects of radio waves on human health?” and, more specifically, “What health risks are associated with the use of cell phones, mobile radios, microwave radios, microwave ovens, broadcast radio and television transmitters, power lines and X-rays?( Zamanian and Hardiman, 2005). The obvious problem encountered in the establishment of causal relationships for low intensity microwave-induced alterations in biological systems is the lack of physical interaction mechanisms to explain such phenomena (Cleary, 1977). In this mode of operation, a mobile phone may be regarded as a quite powerful radio transmitter. Its emission at the head surface is typically 10,000 times stronger than fields reaching the head of a user standing within 30 m of the base of a typical mobile phone relay transponder mounted on a tower 30m above ground (Adey 2007). Many people in Nigeria does not know the danger the GSM can make them to be expose to by just using it. As many that use the phone have complain of headache, loss of memory, weakness and so on. But they still could not understand the possible causes of these disorderliness in their head, thus there is need for us to look into the study matter and see if the GSM have any possible cause to their problem. Studies of the behavioral effects of low intensity microwave and radiofrequency radiation have produced what appear to be rather contradictory or inconsistent results. (Cleargy, 1977).

1.3 Justification of the study

This study will make the people know the danger that GSM phone can cause in their brain and help them know the symptoms of the effect. Public concern has been aroused by the news media in which attention has been drawn to a number of international incidents involving intentional exposure of humans to microwave fields (Brodeur, 1976). So that people will not be blind folded and just base their mind on the positive effects the GSM has, and not considering the adverse effect it can cause to human brain. Although some group like the international commission on non ionizing radiation protection (ICNIRP) and mobile manufacturer forum (MMF) that manufacturers mobile equipments and GSM operator across the world insists that there are no discernible effects from the RF radiated from base station and mobile phone (Shalangwa et al., 2011). Scientific interest has been kindled by reports that have appeared during the past few years which consistently suggest that biological systems, both in vivo and in vitro, are affected by exposure to field intensities that were formerly thought to be incapable of producing detectable alterations (Taylor and Cheung 1977). But this study will pose us into possible danger that may be result from the use of GSM. Therefore people in Nigeria will not just buy mobile phone but look at the danger it can cause in respect to it specific absorption rate (SAR) of the type of phone.

1.4 Aim and Objectives

The aim of the study is to know the effect of radiofrequency of GSM to brain


  • To know whether GSM have any effect on the brain
  • To determine the danger GSM can expose our brain to
  • To suggest a possible protection GSM usage
  • To consider the specific absorption rate (SAR) that is permissible by the brain

1.5 Research questions

  • How does brain work?
  • How does the GSM affect the brain?
  • What frequency will make GSM to affect the brain?
  • Under what condition will GSM affect the brain?
  • What can be use to prevent the effect of GSM on brain?
  • What are the effects the GSM have on the brain?
  • What is effect of radio frequency radiation of GSM mobile phone on blood brain barrier?
  • How do the SAR values of phones affect the temperature distribution in the brain?

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