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Cell Phones Can Damage Your Eyes

It seems that prolonged exposure to microwave radiation similar to that used by cell phones can lead to both macroscopic and microscopic damage to the lens of the eyes--and that at least part of this damage seems to accumulate over time and does not seem to heal.

In the study, eye lenses of one-year-old male calves obtained from a slaughterhouse were exposed to microwave radiation for over two weeks. It was found that:

  • Exposing the lens for a prolonged time to microwave radiation caused macroscopic damage affecting the optical quality of the lens. This damage increased as the experiment and irradiation continued, and when the exposure stopped the optical damage began to heal gradually.

  • On the microscopic level a different kind of damage occurred. Tiny "bubbles" were created on the surface of the lens. This microscopic damage did not show any signs of healing and continued to accumulate during the course of the experiment.

    It's findings like these that make me very wary about using a cell phone regularly. Using a hands-free device has been found to reduce radiation from cell phones, but the emissions can still travel up the headset wire and into your head. There is good news, though, for those of you who don't want to limit your cell phone usage (and even those who do): ferrite beads that attach easily to cell phone headsets offer real protection against potentially dangerous cell phone radiation.

    If you want to know more about the controversy over cell phone safety, check out my cell phone index page.

    Bioelectromagnetics July 2005; 26(5):398-405

    IsraCast July 27, 2005

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