As reported by Medical News Today (3/11) Cell Phone Exposure May Cause Bone Weakening, Study Suggests
Electromagnetic radiation from cellular phones may adversely affect bone
strength, suggests a study in the March Journal of Craniofacial Surgery. The
journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health.
Men who routinely wear their cell phone on their belt on the right side have
reduced bone mineral content (BMC) and bone mineral density (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 cell phone users 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 bone strength.
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
electromagnetic radiation 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.