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Do cell phone signal boosters increase health risk from radiation?

Feb 09, 2018

Do cell phone signal boosters increase health risk from radiation?

In a world where practically all high tech devices seem to be linked to health risks in one way or another, people want to know if cell phone signal boosters increase their health risk from radiation. Let us explore this topic because people are confused about the perceived risks of cell phones due to misinformation. It sometimes feels like we're subjected to a health scare more often than it rains in Seattle!

Fake News.

It has been one of those days. The weekly sales meeting turned sour, my date is late and my battery is at 2%. To crown it, I'm exhausted and I have a splitting headache. Now I am sitting in the diner with a dying phone while everyone else is texting, talking and trolling on their mobile devices. Hundreds of signals are zooming through me and I can't help but wonder; is this pain in my brain a normal headache? Perhaps it is a "radiation" headache? Does that even exist? I certainly hope not.

There're so many rumours out there, it is hard to discern. Carbs or protein? Ovens or microwaves? Weights or cardio? We live in a world of constant change and we wonder about the health risks associated with new findings and new technology. A more recent question has made many of us a little nervous. What is the deal with cellphones and am I increasing my risk of cancer by using cellphone signal boosters? Can a cellular signal booster or amplifier or repeater and their antenna(s) harm me, or help me? Well, we dug around a little and this is what we found:

Bad News.

America's leading national health institute, The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has done extensive research regarding cellphone use and risk. They report the following:

"There's no scientific evidence that provides a definite answer to the question, though one organization recommended using a cell phone with caution. More research is needed before we know if cellphone use causes health effects".

What? Talk about hedging your bets! This is NOT REASURING. Due to this uncertainty, I would recommend using cell phones only if necessary and use "speakerphone" function to keep cell phones away from our heads. "No" cell phones for children nor teenagers because their brains are still growing and developing at a very fast pace. A slightest malfunction could wreak havoc inside causing medical problems in future. Kids got by without cell phones 10-20 years ago, so there's no reason they cannot get by today. If they are responsible enough, they can keep one - But keep it powered off, and turn it on only in an emergency to call for help, but that is about it.

Fortunately, the CDC did elaborate on the following particular matter:

"Preliminary findings indicate that phone radiation may only harm a user when the cellphone signal is weak".

This made me sit upright and take notice. Signal strength? Can there be a correlation between signal strength and radiation?

Good News.

The Washington Post recently reported on the findings of a $25 million study conducted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Studies for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They concluded that the current safety limits for cellphones are acceptable for public health. Dr Jeffrey Shuren is the radiation health chief at the FDA. He found no increase in brain tumors among adults that are frequent daily users of cellphones.

In above-mentioned study, rats and mice were exposed to high doses of cellphone radiation for nine hours a day. Slight increases in heart tumors were observed in male rats, but they unexpectedly lived longer than their unexposed counterparts. Only one situation was found where cellphone radiation was theoretically harmful to humans. Ironically, it seems that the use of cellphone boosters has the potential to alleviate the risk, not contribute to it.

In the study, our rodent friends were constantly bombarded with very high levels of radiation, levels only experienced by humans for short periods. It had little effect on them, yet the only time it proved to be borderline risky was when the cellphone signals were weak.

Real News.

CBS News story summed it up as follows:

"The weaker the signal indicated on the cell phone display, the stronger the signal the cell phone puts out. The stronger the signal, the greater the amount of radiation delivered to your body."

Ouch! Does this mean we should avoid living in smaller rural centres where cellphone towers are sparsely distributed? Good news if mother-in-law lives in Faraway, bad news if you collect wild mushrooms to impress people. Staying in urban centres also provides potential hazards. Should we avoid basements and underground parking garages for fear of weak signals? Surely not! Maybe we will have to carry our cellphones mounted on long poles like selfiesticks and hope Siri can hear us up there! Perhaps have "radiation detectors" built into smartphones? Imagine an entire busload of people with their radiation alarms blaring as the bus moves through a "weak signal area". Everyone diving for cover as if the bus is under attack from a local gang! I doubt it will get that weird, yet people will always be looking for ways of reducing their risks.

With this in mind, it does appear as if cellphone boosters won't increase the risk of cancer from cellphone radiation but significantly reduce the risk. They strengthen the signal your phone receives, thereby eliminating the "weak signal scenario". When signal boosters are used, your cell phone will emit less radiation because it is not frantically searching for a wireless signal. This proves to be an added bonus for cellular booster users, whether at home, in the office or with a mobile unit in your delivery van.

Cell Phone Radiation and Signal Boosters/ Amplifiers/ Repeaters.

What comfort do these findings offer to hair-trigger hypochondriacs who may have restricted outgoing cellphone usage to calling their mom every Thanksgiving in order to avoid frying their brains? Quite a lot actually. It looks like cell phone boosters/ amplifiers/ repeaters eliminate radiation risk due to weak signals. Oh happy day!

Bottom line? Cell phone signal boosters improve voice quality of calls, reduce dropped calls, and protect you from increased radiation risk when your signal is weak.

The benefits of signal boosters summarized:

  1. Improved reception.
  2. Improved voice quality.
  3. Reduction in dropped calls.
  4. Protection from radiation caused by the "weak signal scenario".

At this point, the long-term health risks of using cell phones remain questionable, though no studies have found a link between the two. A large study conducted in Denmark over a period of 13 years found absolutely no link between health status and cell phone bills. As we all know, money talks and it is telling us that heavy users are NOT at higher risk than light users.

So, the next time you leave a voicenote on your smartphone; don't be too concerned about the life of your battery. At worst, it will contribute to your next headache. Rather be concerned about your signal strength, this might threaten life. Not your battery's life but yours!

The future remains uncertain. In twenty years we could see lawsuits filed against the networks that provide weaker signals. I guess anything is possible.


Borenstein, Seth And Lauran Neergaard. "Studies offer no clear answers on safety of cellphone use." The Washington Post. Health and Science. 2 Feb. 2018. Accessed 8 Feb. 2018.

"Cell phones & cancer: 8 dumb ways to boost possible risk.” CBS News. 2018. Accessed 8 Feb. 2018.

"Frequently Asked Questions about Cell Phones and Your Health." Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 9 June 2014. Accessed 8 Feb. 2018.

Notice: Information provided in this blog post must not be construed as health advice because it is merely our opinion based on honest reasearch of all latest available medical literature showing actual medical studies conducted in relation to cell phone radiation.

Any comments on this important topic?

To help dispel confusion, we have stated views from credible sources including government agencies on this topic. However, if we have missed anything you know with reference to a credible source, we would like for you to please share it along with the source of that information for other readers. Thank you!

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  • People do get concerned about cell booster health risks, just as they do with cell phone radiation in general. However, from what this article says (and from what I’ve seen elsewhere), there are no negative side effects of cell phone boosters. Cell phone boosters will actually keep your phone from emitting more radiation as it tries to find a signal, so that should answer the question are cell phone boosters bad for your health. They actually sound beneficial for your health.

    John Simmons on
  • I’ve been thinking a lot about cell phone boosters. I really want one for my car because I do a lot of traveling and business, which means I like to be able to make calls no matter where I’m at (such as the country) and not lose calls. However, I had to ask “Do cell phone boosters cause cancer?” and what are the side effects of mobile signal boosters. Apparently, none and they can actually help with reducing any radiation from your cell phone. I’m glad I read this article as it gave me a better idea of how cell phone boosters work, and their safety.

    Mike Fillmore on
  • I don’t think people take the time to read studies when they hear “Popcorn causes hypertension” only to learn lab rats were subjected to 300x the normal amount of salt in an average serving and fed popcorn 10x a day. I’m glad this article lists the results of the study and summarizes them. I’ve had a cell phone for years and haven’t thought much about the radiation. However, I have thought about getting a cell phone booster and I see it as laying to rest any worries about cell phone radiation causing damage. Personally, I’m more concerned about the radiation I get sitting 15" away from a 24" computer monitor. LOL.

    Joseph Simon on

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