There are expected to be more smartphones than people in the world by 2021. With this growth comes increasing concern about the health impacts of their use – both in terms of mental health and the physical affects from the phone’s radiation. But the relatively recent rise of this technology means that we are far from understanding its effects, particularly on those who have been using mobiles since childhood.
According to the European Academic for Environmental Medicine, in their 2016 Guideline on EMF, the type of radiation emitted by mobile phones:
There is strong evidence that long-term exposure to certain EMFs is a risk factor for diseases such as certain cancers, Alzheimer's disease, and male infertility... Common EHS (electromagnetic hypersensivity) symptoms include headaches, concentration difficulties, sleep problems, depression, lack of energy, fatigue and flu-like symptoms.
In 2015, 230 scientists from 41 countries expressed “serious concerns” regarding the ubiquitous and increasing exposure to EMF generated by electric and wireless devices – through wifi, 3G, 4G, and mobile phones themselves, among other things. In 2017, more than 180 scientists and doctors called for a moratorium on the roll-out of 5G wireless technology, based on these health risks. Such technology will require massively upscaling the number of antennas, and with it the radiation emitted particularly in urban areas.
Yet, the direct links between mobile phones and such health problems remain less clear.