Are mobile phones a risk to my health?


Cancer Research UK states: “scientific evidence shows it is unlikely that mobile phones could increase the risk of brain tumours, or any other type of cancer. But we do not know enough to completely rule out a risk.” 

The Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation (AGNIR), an independent advisory group reporting to Public Health England, has published reviews of the potential health effects of radio waves. The latest report published in 2012 concludes that the vast body of evidence indicates that mobile phone usage is not linked to brain tumours or any other forms of cancer, although it points out that the data is restricted to less than 15 years since first exposure. Health Protection Agency (HPA) also published a response to the report. (The HPA is now part of Public Health England.)

The government has a list of precautions for mobile phone usage for anyone who is concerned. It recommends:

  • only making short calls and only using the mobile phone when really necessary;
  • children should keep all calls short and again only use the phone when really necessary;
  • keep your mobile phone away from your body when it is in standby mode;
  • only use your phone when the reception is strong – this is usually indicated by the number of bars at the top of your phone. Weak reception causes the phone to use more energy to communicate with the base station; and
  • use a hands-free kit so that your phone is not near your head. 


Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.