Although many of these studies have been conducted on adults, there are few conclusive results related to the impact of long term mobile phone usage on children’s brains. This is why a team of British scientists aim to launch the largest study on the planet to determine if mobile phones affects teenage brain development.
Paul Elliott, the director of the Center for Environment and Health at Imperial College London and co-leader of the research, stated that
Scientific evidence available to date is reassuring and shows no association between exposure to radiofrequency waves from mobile phone use and brain cancer in adults in the short term – i.e. less than 10 years of use. But the evidence available regarding long term heavy use and children’s use is limited and less clear.
The concept of mobile phones causing brain cancer is still the subject of hot debates. On one hand, we have the World Health Organization which claims that nobody managed to establish beyond a doubt that the use of mobile phones had adverse effects on peoples’ health. On the other hand, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified the electromagnetic fields produced by mobile phones as being “possibly carcinogenic to humans”. This is why further and more extended research is a must in today’s world, where around 4.6 billion people have a cell phone subscription.
The study will focus on the brains and cognitive functions of kids and teens, as these are in constant development from childhood to the teenage years. Also, globally, children and teens start using mobile phones at early ages. In this context, the study is mandatory to find out the long term consequences of young brains prolonged exposure to wireless gadgets and cell phones.
Elliott and the study’s principal investigator, Mireille Toledano, aim to recruit around 2,500 11 to 12 year-old school children. They will follow their cognitive development over two years while collecting data on how often, for what, and how long they use smart phones and other wireless devices. Parents and pupils who agree to take part in the study will answer questions about the children’s use of mobile devices and wireless technologies, well-being ,and lifestyle. Subjects will also undertake classroom-based computerized tests of the cognitive abilities behind functions like memory and attention.
All things considered, it looks like we will find out soon whether the use of mobile phones affects teenage brain development or not. While some may say that this is just much ado about nothing, this research is crucial for the future of the young generation of today.