Tuesday, September 23, 2008

MOBILE PHONE USE 'RAISES CHILDREN'S RISK OF BRAIN CANCER FIVEFOLD'

Independent, UK - Children and teenagers are five times more likely to get brain cancer if they use mobile phones, startling new research indicates. The study, experts say, raises fears that today's young people may suffer an "epidemic" of the disease in later life. At least nine out of 10 British 16-year-olds have their own handset, as do more than 40 per cent of primary schoolchildren. . .

Last week the European Parliament voted by 522 to 16 to urge ministers across Europe to bring in stricter limits for exposure to radiation from mobile and cordless phones, Wi-fi and other devices, partly because children are especially vulnerable to them. They are more at risk because their brains and nervous systems are still developing and because - since their heads are smaller and their skulls are thinner - the radiation penetrates deeper into their brains. . .

Those who started using mobiles young were also five times more likely to get acoustic neuromas, benign but often disabling tumors of the auditory nerve, which usually cause deafness. By contrast, people who were in their twenties before using handsets were only 50 per cent more likely to contract gliomas and just twice as likely to get acoustic neuromas.

Professor Hardell told the IoS: "This is a warning sign. It is very worrying. We should be taking precautions." He believes that children under 12 should not use mobiles except in emergencies and that teenagers should use hands-free devices or headsets and concentrate on texting. At 20 the danger diminishes because then the brain is fully developed. Indeed, he admits, the hazard to children and teenagers may be greater even than his results suggest, because the results of his study do not show the effects of their using the phones for many years. Most cancers take decades to develop, longer than mobile phones have been on the market.

1 Comments:

At September 24, 2008 10:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In typical media fashion this article fails to give us enough of the facts to assess the true danger. Percentages can be very deceiving. If the normal chance of getting a tumor is 10% then a 5-fold increase would lead to half of cellphone users getting tumors. If the normal chance of getting a tumor is 0.1% then the risk only increases to 0.5%.

 

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