Science Fair Ideas


Is Your Cellphone Frying Your Brain?


Submitted by: Ryan Jasen (age: 14) from : Toronto, Ontario
Project Objective

To determine relative electromagnetic radiation emitted by different cellphones in three different settings at three different distances away from the cellphone as a potential safety measure.


Project Description

HYPOTHESIS: I predict that the level of electromagnetic radiation will be lower the further away the cellphone is from the meter (subject's body). I also predict that the level of electromagnetic energy in an enclosed room will be higher than near an indoor window or outdoors. I believe this because the waves of radiation dissipate with distance, and because the waves continue to reverberate and bounce around in a confined space.


MATERIALS:


  • Two cellphones

  • One roll of bright coloured tape (distance markers)

  • One measuring tape

  • One wooden table/ledge

  • One CellSensorTM Cellular Phone/EMF Detection Meter

  • One stopwatch

  • One telephone (non-cellular land-line home telephone)

  • One radio


PROCEDURE:


Position AA@ - Outdoors in Driveway


9. Placed cellphone #1 20 cm away and perpendicular to CellSensorTM meter on wooden table which was at average ear height.


10. Dialed home number on cellphone #1 and stepped 40 cm away from cellphone #1.


11. Phones connected.


12. Played radio music into home phone which was received by cellphone.


13. Observed and recorded meter readings for three minutes.


14. Using measuring tape measured 40cm away from the cellphone #1


15. Marked position with tape.


16. Moved meter to new position 40cm away and perpendicular to cellphone #1.


17. Observed and recorded meter readings for three minutes.


18. Using measuring tape measured 60 cm away from the cellphone #1.


19. Marked position with tape.


20. Moved meter to new position 60cm away and perpendicular to cellphone #1.


21. Observed and recorded meter readings for three minutes.


22. Hung up cellphone #1.


23. Repeated steps 1 to14 with cellphone #2.


24. Averaged readings for each cellphone for each distance and recorded.


Position AB@ - Indoor near a Window


25. Placed cellphone #1 20 cm away and perpendicular to CellSensorTM meter on wooden table which was at average ear height.


26. Dialed home number on cellphone #1 and stepped 40 cm away from cellphone #1.


27. Phones connected.


28. Played radio music into home phone which was received by cellphone #1.


29. Observed and recorded meter readings for three minutes.


30. Using measuring tape measured 40cm away from the cellphone #1.


31. Marked position with tape.


32. Moved meter to new position 40cm away and perpendicular to cellphone #1.


33. Observed and recorded meter readings for three minutes.


34. Using measuring tape measured 60 cm away from the cellphone #1.


35. Marked position with tape.


36. Moved meter to new position 60cm away and perpendicular to cellphone #1.


37. Observed and recorded meter readings for three minutes.


38. Repeated steps17 to 29 with cellphone #2.


39. Averaged readings for each cellphone for each distance and recorded.


Position AC@ - In Enclosed Room (Basement)


40. Placed cellphone #1 20 cm away and perpendicular to CellSensorTM meter on wooden table which was at average ear height.


41. Dialed home number on cellphone #1 and stepped 40 cm away from cellphone #1.


42. Phones connected.


43. Played radio music into home phone which was received by cellphone #1.


44. Observed and recorded meter readings for three minutes.


45. Using measuring tape measured 40cm away from the cellphone #1.


46. Marked position with tape.


47. Moved meter to new position 40cm away and perpendicular to cellphone #1.


48. Observed and recorded meter readings for three minutes.


49. Using measuring tape measured 60 cm away from the cellphone #1.


50. Marked position with tape.


51. Moved meter to new position 60cm away and perpendicular to cellphone #1.


52. Observed and recorded meter readings for three minutes. Cellphone #2


53. Repeated steps32 to 44 with cellphone #2. Readings


54. Averaged readings for each cellphone for each distance and recorded.


CONCLUSION:


My hypothesis was correct. The cellphones did emit higher levels of electromagnetic energy/radiation when used in an enclosed room ( basement) as compared to next to an indoor window or outdoors. This concurs with scientific findings that when in a contained environment a cellphone antenna emits greater electromagnetic radiation to make contact with a radio tower to transmit the signal from the cellphone. Furthermore, the cellphones did emit very low amounts of electromagnetic radiation, some undetectable by the CellSensorTM, when used outside or near a window, and the level of electromagnetic radiation was less detectable the further the meter was away from the cellphone. While not conclusive, the knowledge gained from this experiment is indicative of the fact that a cellphone could quite possibly be a threat to a user's health, especially a child's, and might cause injury. To minimize risk and the flow of radiation to the head, cellphones should be outside rather than inside, and kept away from the head by using a headset.