“When the school district rolled out the Ipads this year, Aiden Fitchett noticed something new; as he did when seated near the wireless projector any time a teacher used one for a presentation: headaches. Bad ones. Bad enough that the 8-year-old second grader would come home crying from the pain.
His mom, biologist Rachel Fitchett, made a correlation between Aiden’s headaches and the circumstances: wireless fidelity waves or WiFi, which has been associated with causing physical effects in a small percentage of the population.”
Numerous research studies have found a link between cell phone radiation and headaches. A 2017 review by Wang and colleagues found a significant association between mobile phone use and headache in children and adults, including a dose-response relationship between risk of headache and call duration and frequency. Similarly, Cho et al. (2016) and Szyjkowska et al. (2014) found an association between headache severity and average call frequency.
A 2012 study by Sudan et. al., on over 52, 000 children found children with cell phone exposure had higher odds of migraines and headache-related symptoms than children with no exposure. Mobile phone use was associated with vertigo/dizziness, fatigue, forgetfulness, sleep disturbance-insomnia, tension-anxiety, joint and bone pain, lacrimation of the eyes, hearing loss and tinnitus in a 2014 Turkish survey and these findings are replicated in other studies from other counties that utilized self report questionnaires.
Listen to testimony to the Canadian government from a mother whose daughter gets headaches from wireless.
In 2001 Microwave News reported on Dr. Pierre Aubineau’s theory that EMF exposure leads to inflammation that leads to a severe headache. “He has shown that when rats are exposed to GSM radiation, the dura mater becomes inflamed. Aubineau points to a theory—advanced by Dr. Michael Moskowitz of Harvard Medical School in Boston—that such an inflammation in humans would lead to a severe headache.”
Some researchers state that the research suggests that the mechanism by which headaches are increased by cellular radiation involves 1. The breakdown of the blood-brain barrier due to low intensity microwave exposure and 2. The dopamine-opiate system which also is affected by exposure.
Published research has repeatedly found a link between cell phones, radio frequency and headaches. Please review a list of research studies on linking headaches to cell phone and radiofrequency radiation below.
Durusoy, Raika, et al. “Mobile phone use, school electromagnetic field levels and related symptoms: a cross-sectional survey among 2150 high school students in Izmir.” Environmental Health 16.1 (2017): 51.
- “We found an association between mobile phone use and especially headache, concentration difficulties, fatigue, sleep disturbances and warming of the ear showing also dose-response. We have found limited associations between vicinity to base stations and some general symptoms; however, we did not find any association with school EMF levels.”
- “Decreasing the numbers of calls and messages, decreasing the duration of calls, using earphones, keeping the phone away from the head and body and similar precautions might decrease the frequencies or prevalence of the symptoms.”
Wang, J., et al. “Mobile Phone Use and The Risk of Headache: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Cross-sectional Studies.” Scientific Reports 7.1 (2017): 12595.
- “Headache is increasingly being reported as a detrimental effect of mobile phone (MP) use. However, studies aimed to investigate the association between MP use and headache yielded conflicting results. To assess the consistency of the data on the topic, we performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of the available cross-sectional studies.”
- “We found that the risk of headache was increased by 38% in MP user compared with non-MP user. Among MP users, the risk of headache was also increased in those who had longer daily call duration and higher daily call frequency.”
- “Our data indicate that MP use is significantly associated with headache, further epidemiologic and experimental studies are required to affirm and understand this association.”
- “The underlying mechanism of the association between MP use and headache remains unclear but some suggest that breakdown of the blood-brain barrier due to exposure to low intensity MP frequency microwave energy may be involved 33,34,35,36. Also, the dopamine-opiate system may be involved in headaches and low intensity electromagnetic energy exposure affects those systems 37,38,39. However, since Frey’s group first reported headaches occurring after microwave energy exposure at approximately the same frequencies and incident energies that present day MP emit 40, the exact mechanism under this association is still not fully understood now.”
- “The results of our meta-analysis and lots of previous studies herein supported current clinical opinion that MP use may cause increased risk for headache. Therefore, it is advisable to admit that the use of MP is a risk factor for headache. In Stalin’s study 18 and Chiu’s study 19, the prevalence of MP usage among adult and children was 69.8% and 63.2% respectively in their study population, and that was only the data from two years ago. We could foresee the prevalence of MP usage will be higher in the future. So it is also advisable to suggest that excessive use of MP should be avoided by increasing social awareness through health promotion activities. It is imperative that health care professionals, clinicians and common people are educated about the deleterious influence of MP on headache. And it is reasonable to instruct children and adolescent about a prudent use of MPs. In addition, we encourage screening of headache patients during routine clinical visits to identify those patients to explore excessive MP use as a potential cause. Intervention and policies must be developed, evaluated and carry out at the population level to raise the awareness of the potential adverse health effect to decrease the headache caused by MP using.”
Cho, Y.M., et. al. “A cross-sectional study of the association between mobile phone use and symptoms of ill health. Environmental Health and Toxicology (2016).
- The average daily phone call frequency showed a significant correlation with the perceived stress scale score in female subjects. Mobile phone call duration was not significantly associated with stress, sleep, cognitive function, or depression, but was associated with the severity of headaches.
Stalin, P., et al. “Mobile phone usage and its health effects among adults in a semi-urban area of southern India.” Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research: JCDR 10.1 (2016): LC14.
- “The prevalence of mobile phone usage was 70%. Calling facility (94.2%) was used more than the SMS (67.6%). Health problems like headache, earache, tinnitus, painful fingers and restlessness etc., were found to be positively associated with mobile phone usage. There was negative association between hypertension and mobile phone usage.”
Chiu, Chang-Ta, et al. “Mobile phone use and health symptoms in children.” Journal of the Formosan Medical Association 114.7 (2015): 598-604.
- “Mobile phone use was associated with a significantly increased adjusted odds ratio for headaches and migraine (1.42, 95% CI = 1.12–1.81) and skin itches (1.84, 95% CI = 1.47–2.29). Children who regularly used MPs were also considered to have a health status worse than it was 1 year ago (β = 0.27, 95% CI = 0.17–0.37).”
- “Although the cross-sectional design precludes the causal inference for the observed association, our study tended to suggest a need for more cautious use of MPs in children, because children are expected to experience a longer lifetime exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) from MPs.”
Schoeni, Anna, Katharina Roser, and Martin Röösli. “Symptoms and cognitive functions in Adolescents in relation to mobile phone use during night.” PloS one 10.7 (2015): e0133528.
- “Overall, being awakened during night by mobile phone was associated with an increase in health symptom reports such as tiredness, rapid exhaustibility, headache and physical ill-being, but not with memory and concentration capacity. Prevention strategies should focus on helping adolescents set limits for their accessibility by mobile phone, especially during night.”
Zheng, Feizhou, et al. “Association between mobile phone use and self-reported well-being in children: a questionnaire-based cross-sectional study in Chongqing, China.” BMJ open 5.5 (2015): e007302.
- “The present study indicated that there was a consistent significant association between MP use and fatigue in children. Further in-depth research is needed to explore the potential health effects of MP use in children.”
Küçer N and T. Pamukçu. “Self-reported symptoms associated with exposure to electromagnetic fields: a questionnaire study.” Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine 33.1 (2014): 15-7.
- Self-reported symptoms were headache, vertigo/dizziness, fatigue, forgetfulness, sleep disturbance-insomnia, tension-anxiety, joint and bone pain, lacrimation of the eyes, hearing loss and tinnitus.
- As a result of the survey, the study has shown that users of mobile phone and computer more often complained of headache, joint and bone pain, hearing loss, vertigo/dizziness, tension-anxiety symptoms according to time of daily usage (p < 0.05).
Szyjkowska, A., et al. “The risk of subjective symptoms in mobile phone users in Poland – An epidemiological study. International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health 27.2 (2014): 293-303.
- Headaches were reported significantly more often by the people who talked frequently and long in comparison with other users.
- Results show that the mobile phone users may experience subjective symptoms, the intensity of which depends on the intensity of use of mobile phones.
“Cell Phone Use and Prenatal Exposure to Cell Phone Radiation May Cause Headaches in Children.” Electromagnetic Radiation Safety (16 January 2014).
- “A new, peer-reviewed study found that children who used cell phones or were exposed prenatally to cell phone radiation were at higher risk of developing headaches by age 7.”
- “According to the study authors, “headache is the most common type of pain reported by children,” and headaches have become more common over time. “Should RF exposure from cell phones have a harmful effect on health, children may be at the highest risk and should be given high priority in research related to RF [radiofrequency] health effects.”
Redmayne, Mary, Euan Smith, and Michael J. Abramson. “The relationship between adolescents’ well-being and their wireless phone use: a cross-sectional study.” Environmental Health 12.1 (2013): 90.
- The number and duration of cellphone and cordless phone calls were associated with increased risk of headaches
- Texting and extended use of wireless phones was related to having a painful ‘texting’ thumb).
- Using a wired cellphone headset was associated with tinnitus, while wireless headsets were associated with headache, feeling down/depressed, and waking in the night.
- Several cordless phone frequencies bands were related to tinnitus, feeling down/depressed and sleepiness at school, while the last of these was also related to modulation.
- Waking nightly was less likely for those with WiFi at home. Being woken at night by a cellphone was strongly related to tiredness at school.
Madhuri Sudan, et al. “Prenatal and Postnatal Cell Phone Exposures and Headaches in Children.” Open Pediatrics Medical Journal 6 (2012): 46-52.
- Children with cell phone exposure had higher odds of migraines and headache-related symptoms than children with no exposure.
Röösli, Martin, et al. “Systematic review on the health effects of exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields from mobile phone base stations.” Bulletin of the World Health Organization 88.12 (2010): 887-896.
- “The majority of the papers (14) examined self-reported non-specific symptoms of ill-health. Most of the randomized trials did not detect any association between MPBS radiation and the development of acute symptoms during or shortly after exposure. The sporadically observed associations did not show a consistent pattern with regard to symptoms or types of exposure. We also found that the more sophisticated the exposure assessment, the less likely it was that an effect would be reported.”
Divan, H.A., et al. “Prenatal and postnatal exposure to cell phone use and behavioral problems in children.” Epidemiology, vol. 19, no. 4, 2008, pp. 523-9.
- Exposure to cell phones prenatally-and, to a lesser degree, postnatally-was associated with behavioral difficulties such as emotional and hyperactivity problems around the age of school entry. These associations may be noncausal and may be due to unmeasured confounding. If real, they would be of public health concern given the widespread use of this technology.
Khan, Muhammad. “Adverse effects of excessive mobile phone use.” International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health 21.4 (2008): 289-293.
- “16.08% of the subjects complained of headache and 24.48% of fatigue. Impaired concentration was reported by 34.27% of respondents, memory disturbances by 40.56%, sleeplessness by 38.8%, hearing problems by 23.07%, and facial dermatitis by 16.78%. The sensation of warmth within the auricle and behind/around the ear was reported by 28.32%. Out of 286 subjects who participated in this study, 44.4% related their symptoms to mobile phone use.”
- “The findings of the present study indicate that mobile phones play a large part in the daily life of medical students. Therefore, its impact on psychology and health should be discussed among the students to prevent the harmful effects of mobile phone use.”
Söderqvist, Fredrik, Michael Carlberg, and Lennart Hardell. “Use of wireless telephones and self-reported health symptoms: a population-based study among Swedish adolescents aged 15–19 years.” Environmental Health 7.18 (2008).
- “Watching TV increased the odds ratio for use of wireless phones, adjusted for age and gender. Some of the most frequently reported health complaints were tiredness, stress, headache, anxiety, concentration difficulties and sleep disturbances. Regular users of wireless phones had health symptoms more often and reported poorer perceived health than less frequent users.”
Mortazavi, S. M. J., J. Ahmadi, and M. Shariati. “Prevalence of subjective poor health symptoms associated with exposure to electromagnetic fields among university students.” Bioelectromagnetics 28.4 (2007): 326-330.
- “Among self-reported symptoms, headache (53.5%), fatigue (35.6%), difficulties in concentration (32.5%), vertigo/dizziness (30.4%), attention disorders (28.8%), nervousness (28.1%), palpitation (14.7%), low back pain (14.3%), myalgia (12.4%), and tinnitus (9.9%) were the main self-reported symptoms. No significant differences in the prevalence of these symptoms were found between CRT users and those who did not use CRTs. A significant association was found between cordless phone use and difficulties in concentration (P < .05) or attention disorders (P < .05). However, after correction of the gender role, these differences were not significant. No association was found between mobile phone use and the above-mentioned symptoms. No significantly higher prevalence of self-reported symptoms was found in individuals who had used mobile phones, video display terminals or cordless phones more frequently than others.”
- “Mass-media’s lack of interest in the possible hazards of exposure to EMF in developing countries can explain the difference observed between the results of this study and those of other researchers in some developed countries who have shown an association between EMF exposure and the prevalence of self-reported subjective symptoms. This finding can confirm the results obtained in provocative studies which indicated the role of psychological factors in electromagnetic hypersensitivity. More research is needed to clarify whether daily environmental EMF may cause health problems.”
Schreier, Nadja, Anke Huss, and Martin Röösli. “The prevalence of symptoms attributed to electromagnetic field exposure: a cross-sectional representative survey in Switzerland.” Sozial-und Präventivmedizin 51.4 (2006): 202-209.
- “We found a prevalence of 5% (95% CI 4–6%) for electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) in our study sample. The most common health complaints among EHS individuals were sleep disorders (43%) and headaches (34%), which were mostly attributed to power lines and mobile phone handsets. In addition, 53 percent (95% CI 51–55%) were worried about adverse health effects from EMF, without attributing their own health symptoms to them.”
Balikci, Kemal, et al. “A survey study on some neurological symptoms and sensations experienced by long term users of mobile phones.” Pathologie Biologie 53.1 (2005): 30-34.
- “A survey study was conducted to investigate the possible effects of mobile phone on headache, dizziness, extreme irritation, shaking in the hands, speaking falteringly, forgetfulness, neuro-psychological discomfort, increase in the carelessness, decrease of the reflex and clicking sound in the ears. There is no effect on dizziness, shaking in hands, speaking falteringly and neuro-psychological discomfort, but some statistical evidences are found that mobile phone may cause headache, extreme irritation, increase in the carelessness, forgetfulness, decrease of the reflex and clicking sound in the ears.”
Röösli, Martin, et al. “Symptoms of ill health ascribed to electromagnetic field exposure–a questionnaire survey.” International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health 207.2 (2004): 141-150.
- “From June 2001, health questionnaires were distributed to people who complained about symptoms of ill health which they ascribed to exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF).”
- “Sleep disorders (58%), headaches (41%), nervousness or distress (19%), fatigue (18%), and concentration difficulties (16%) were most common complaints. Complainants related their symptoms most frequently to exposure to mobile phone base stations (74%), followed by mobile phones (36%), cordless phones (29%) and power lines (27%). No distinct symptoms related to a specific field source could be identified.”
Sandström, M., et al. “Mobile phone use and subjective symptoms. Comparison of symptoms experienced by users of analogue and digital mobile phones.” Occupational Medicine 51.1 (2001): 25-35.
- “The adjusted odds ratio did not indicate any increased risk for symptoms for GSM users compared with NMT 900 users. Our hypothesis was therefore disproved. However, we observed a statistically significant lower risk for sensations of warmth on the ear for GSM users compared with NMT 900 users. The same trend was seen in Norway for sensations of warmth behind/around the ear and in Sweden for headaches and fatigue.”
- “Factors distinguishing the two systems (radio frequency emission, phone temperatures and various ergonomic factors) may be responsible for these results, as well as for a secondary finding: a statistically significant association between calling time/number of calls per day and the prevalence of warmth behind/around or on the ear, headaches and fatigue.”
Chia, Sin-Eng, Hwee-Pin Chia, and Jit-Seng Tan. “Prevalence of headache among handheld cellular telephone users in Singapore: a community study.” Environmental Health Perspectives 108.11 (2000): 1059-1062
- “The prevalence of hand-held cellular telephone (HP) users was 44.8%. Headache was the most prevalent symptom among HP users compared to non-HP users, with an adjusted prevalence rate ratio of 1.31 [95% confidence interval, 1.00-1.70]. There is a significant increase in the prevalence of headache with increasing duration of usage (in minutes per day). Prevalence of headache was reduced by more than 20% among those who used hand-free equipment for their cellular telephones as compared to those who never use the equipment. The use of HPs is not associated with a significant increase of CNS symptoms other than headache.”
Frey, Allan H. “Headaches from cellular telephones: are they real and what are the implications?.” Environmental Health Perspectives 106.3 (1998): 101.
- “There have been numerous recent reports of headaches occurring in association with the use of hand-held cellular telephones. Are these reported headaches real? Are they due to emissions from telephones? There is reason to believe that the answer is “yes” to both questions. There are several lines of evidence to support this conclusion. First, headaches as a consequence of exposure to low intensity microwaves were reported in the literature 30 years ago. These were observed during the course of microwave hearing research before there were cellular telephones. Second, the blood-brain barrier appears to be involved in headaches, and low intensity microwave energy exposure affects the barrier. Third, the dopamine-opiate systems of the brain appear to be involved in headaches, and low intensity electromagnetic energy exposure affects those systems. In all three lines of research, the microwave energy used was approximately the same–in frequencies, modulations, and incident energies–as those emitted by present day cellular telephones. Could the current reports of headaches be the canary in the coal mine, warning of biologically significant effects?”
Hocking, B. “Preliminary report: symptoms associated with mobile phone use.” Occupational Medicine 48.6 (1998): 357-360.
- “Forty respondents from diverse occupations described unpleasant sensations such as a burning feeling or a dull ache mainly occurring in the temporal, occipital or auricular areas. The symptoms often began minutes after beginning a call, but could come on later during the day. The symptoms usually ceased within an hour after the call, but could last until evening. Symptoms did not occur when using an ordinary handset, and were different from ordinary headaches. There were several reports suggestive of intra-cranial effects. Three respondents reported local symptoms associated with wearing their mobile phone on their belts. There was one cluster of cases in a workplace. Seventy-five per cent of cases were associated with digital mobile phones. Most of the respondents obtained relief by altering their patterns of telephone usage or type of phone.”
- “Cranial and other diverse symptoms may arise associated with mobile phone usage. Physicians and users alike should be alert to this. Further work is needed to determine the range of effects, their mechanism and the possible implications for safety limits of RFR.”