How does radiation damage DNA

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29 February 2016

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Mobile phones harm body cells and damage DNA

Radio waves from mobile phones harm body cells and damage DNA in laboratory conditions, The research project, which took four years and which was coordinated by the German research group Verum, studied the effect of radiation on human and animal cells in a laboratory. After being exposed to electromagnetic fields that are typical for mobile phones, the cells showed a significant increase in single and double-strand DNA breaks. The damage could not always be repaired by the cell. DNA carries the genetic material of an organism and its different cells. This means the change had procreated. Mutated cells are seen as a possible cause of cancer. The radiation used in the study was at levels between a Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) of between 0.3 and 2 watts per kilogram. Most phones emit radio signals at SAR levels of between 0.5 and 1 W/kg. SAR is a measure of the rate of radio energy absorption in body tissue, and the SAR limit recommended by the International Commission of Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection is 2 W/kg. The study also measured other harmful effects on cells.

Because of the lab set-up, the researchers said the study did not prove any health risks. But they added that “the genotoxic and phenotypic effects clearly require further studies … on animals and human volunteers.” Adlkofer advised against the use of a mobile phone when an alternative fixed line phone was available, and recommended the use of a headset connected to a cellphone whenever possible. Previous independent studies into the health effects of mobile phone radiation have found it may have some effect on the human body, such as heating up body tissue and causing headaches and nausea, but no study that could be independently repeated has proved that radiation had permanent harmful effects. In a separate announcement in Hong Kong, where consumers tend to spend more time talking on a mobile phone than in Europe, a German company called G-Hanz introduced a new type of mobile phone which it claimed had no harmful radiation, as a result of shorter bursts of the radio signal.

How does radiation damage DNA?

Radiation can damage anyone’s DNA. Radiation is really just high-powered particles or energy. When something like that smashes into your DNA , it is definitely going to do some damage. Luckily, our cells are very good at repairing the damage so it takes a lot of radiation to do permanent harm. Damaged DNA matters because your DNA has the instructions for making and running you. If these instructions get damaged, it can sometimes affect how well you run. Like any good instructions, the ones in DNA are written up with letters. The high energy of radiation can mess up the instructions by changing a letter. It can also tear the DNA removing one, some, or even millions of these letters. This would be like ripping out anything from part of a page to a whole chapter of your personal instruction manual.

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"How does radiation damage DNA" StudyScroll, Feb 29, 2016.

"How does radiation damage DNA" StudyScroll, 29-Feb-2016. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 27-Sep-2023]

StudyScroll. (2016). How does radiation damage DNA. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 27-Sep-2023]

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