Mobile phones, laptops and wi-fi may increase your chance of cancer and other brain diseases, researchers warn.
Supporting claims that wireless devices carry a health risk, a study showed they may help cause a metabolic imbalance linked to brain tumours and other neurological disorders including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
But other experts insisted that while the science in the study was sound, the risk to human health was still tiny and cautioned against an alarmist reaction to the findings.
The research, published in the Electromagnetic Biology & Medicine Journal, was led by Dr Igor Yakymenko from Kiev.
It looked at the effect of low-intensity radiofrequency radiation (RFR) emitted by wireless devices, using studies from the US, Finland and Ukraine that mostly examined the effect of RFR on rats.
Prolonged exposure was found to cause the body to release harmful molecules known as free radicals which can damage DNA, causing tumours and other disorders, unless they are “cleaned up” by antioxidants such as those commonly found in berries, tea and red wine.
Dr Yakymenko said there was evidence that four years of using a mobile phone for at least an hour a day increased the incidence of some rare brain tumours by three to five times.
The amount of RFR we are routinely exposed to has increased 5,000 times in the past 20 years and although health risks are low, ailments can take up to 30 years to develop, he added.
The study suggested keeping mobile phone use to a minimum and always using headphones. But Sarah Williams, health information manager at Cancer Research UK, said: “It’s unlikely that using mobile phones causes brain tumours.
Over the last two decades, mobile phone use has rocketed in the UK but we haven’t seen any similar rise in the rates of brain tumours.”