When radio waves pass through the human body at extremely high doses, they can break down tissue and damage DNA structure. Radio waves have been linked to headaches, multiple sclerosis and sleep disorders and may contribute to more serious illnesses like cancer and brain tumors. However, some argue that the only scientifically proven negative side effect of radio waves is a rise in temperature in the substance through which the waves pass, and the debate is fierce as to the true effects of radio waves in humans.
The amount of waves a person or object absorbs is known as the specific absorption rate (SAR). Manufacturers must ensure their products emit a limited amount of waves to be at a safe level of SAR. Even though most devices found in daily life emit very low levels of radio waves, some find humans’ prolonged exposure to even these minute levels worrisome. Cell phones in particular are purported to cause “radio wave sickness,” which can manifest as depression, autism or other illnesses.
There are four types of radio waves: long wave, medium wave, very high frequency and ultra high frequency. These waves are produced by natural phenomena, like lightning and stars, as well as by man-made transmitters, like cell phones, radios and microwaves.