Can cell phone exposure cause bone weakening?

Mar 27, 2011

Electromagnetic radiation from cellular phones may adversely affect bone strength, suggests a study in the March Journal of Craniofacial Surgery.

Men who routinely wear their cell phone on their belt on the right side have reduced bone mineral content (BMC) and (BMD) in the right hip, according to the study by Dr. Fernando D. Sravi of National University of Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina. He writes, "The different patterns of right-left asymmetry in femoral bone mineral found in mobile and nonusers are consistent with a nonthermal effect of electromagnetic radiofrequency waves not previously described."

Dr. Sravi measured BMC and BMD at the left and right hip in two groups of healthy men: 24 men who did not use cell phones and 24 men who carried their cell phone in a belt pouch, on the right side, for at least one year. Measured using a test called dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, BMC and BMD are standard markers of .

Average hip BMC and BMD measurements were not significantly different between groups. However, men who did not use cell phones had higher BMC in the right femoral neck (near the top of the thigh bone): a normal left-right difference that was absent in cell phone users. Thus men who wore their cell phones on the right side had a relative reduction in femoral neck BMC in that hip.

The cell phone users also had reduced BMD and BMC at the right trochanter—an area at the outside top of the thigh bone, close to where the phone would be worn on the belt. The difference between the left and right trochanters was significantly related to the estimated total hours spent carrying a cell phone.

There are concerns about several potential harmful effects of cellular phones. However, few studies have looked at whether electromagnetic fields emitted by cell phones could affect bone mineralization. With the rapid growth in cell phone use, any significant effect on BMD could have a substantial effect on the osteoporosis rate in the population.

Although small, the new study raises the possibility that long-term exposure to from cell phones could adversely affect bone mineralization. Larger follow-up studies will be needed to confirm or disprove this hypothesis, according to Dr Sravi. He suggests that studies may be warranted in women, who have higher rates of osteoporosis; and children, who would have longer expected lifetime exposure to cell phones.

Explore further: Changing cows' diet could help tackle heart disease

More information: www.jcraniofacialsurgery.com/ The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health.

Provided by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

4.5 /5 (4 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Epilepsy drug causes bone loss in young women

Apr 28, 2008

Young women who took the commonly used epilepsy drug phenytoin for one year showed significant bone loss compared to women taking other epilepsy drugs, according to a study published in the April 29, 2008, issue of Neurology, the me ...

Use of nitrates may increase bone strength

Feb 22, 2011

Preliminary research indicates that use of nitroglycerin ointment among postmenopausal women for 2 years was associated with a modest increase in bone mineral density and decrease in bone resorption (loss), according to a ...

Study finds mobiles excite brain cells

Jun 27, 2006

We know cell phones affect the brain. But the question of whether the electromagnetic fields emitted by mobile handsets that excite brain cells actually do any harm remains unanswered, however, by researchers ...

Recommended for you

US judge overturns state's abortion law (Update)

10 hours ago

A federal judge on Wednesday overturned a North Dakota law banning abortions when a fetal heartbeat can be detected, as early as six weeks into pregnancy and before many women know they're pregnant.

User comments : 5

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

hlahore
not rated yet Mar 27, 2011
Science, at last.
I have added this to the 14 very low cost ways to reduce cellphone problems to your health - started 3 years ago.
http://www.henryl...eRF.html
dan42day
1 / 5 (1) Mar 28, 2011
Back in 1980 I had a motorcycle accident and broke the fibula and tibia in my right leg. After almost two years of casts, internal metal braces and bone grafts proved unsuccessful, my doctor tried a new treatment using electromagnetic fields and the bones healed.

I suppose if some frequencies could cause bone growth, others could cause the opposite. I had a big heavy frequency generator and amplifier the size of a PC though.
kasen
not rated yet Mar 28, 2011
Call me overly sceptic, but I'd like to see this experiment done with the same pouch filled with 80-100 grams of inert material. Who wears their phones in belt pouches these days, anyway?

I think it was more likely caused by a slight change in posture and overall movements, in turn caused not necessarily by the weight of the phone, but just by being aware of its presence there.
Nairb
not rated yet Mar 28, 2011
@kasen,
we have numerous control groups for this. Many professions require carrying various pieces of equiptment on belts. Police, security guards, builders, etc. Am sure we could find a suitable test group among these.
PPihkala
not rated yet Mar 30, 2011
I think I bought my first cell phone, then NMT at 1995. Since then I have carried my phone on the belt, at the left side. My current phone is GSM, as they shut NMT networks down years ago, because everyone here in Finland were transitioning to GSM, which utilizes the limited phone frequencies better, but is also known to introduce much more interference in electronic devices and probably also in biological tissues.

It could be revealing to see how imbalanced my hips are because of phone carrying. I carry other things in my belt too, so their weight should compensate at least partly, if weight is any issue.

More news stories

Down's chromosome cause genome-wide disruption

The extra copy of Chromosome 21 that causes Down's syndrome throws a spanner into the workings of all the other chromosomes as well, said a study published Wednesday that surprised its authors.

Progress in the fight against quantum dissipation

(Phys.org) —Scientists at Yale have confirmed a 50-year-old, previously untested theoretical prediction in physics and improved the energy storage time of a quantum switch by several orders of magnitude. ...

Meteorites yield clues to Martian early atmosphere

(Phys.org) —Geologists who analyzed 40 meteorites that fell to Earth from Mars unlocked secrets of the Martian atmosphere hidden in the chemical signatures of these ancient rocks. Their study, published ...