Children and adolescents who use cell phones are not at risk for getting brain cancer, according to a recent study, though further research will be conducted to show long-term effects of cell phone usage.
The Swiss study researched the cell phone usage of nearly 1,000 young people ages 7-19 from different parts of Europe. The sample groups included 352 subjects with pre-existing brain tumors and 646 without brain tumors. 50 percent of each group reported they were regular cell phone users.
The findings, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, showed that cell phones do not cause cancer when used over a period of 5 years, since the children without brain tumors used their cell phones as frequently as the children diagnosed with tumors. The study also showed that cell phone usage is not a risk for the development of brain tumors, especially in the brain regions where cell phone radiation exposure is highest.
"The results are reassuring, given the widespread use of mobile phones by children and adolescents," said Martin Roosli, an assistant professor at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute in Switzerland, who authored the research.
However, more prolonged research will be conducted to determine whether or not long-term cell phone users risk developing cancerous brain tumors due to extended electromagnetic radiation from mobile phones.
"Uncertainties remain regarding long-term use," Roosli said. "Thus, further careful monitoring whether brain tumor incidence is increasing in this age group is important." The Swiss institute plans to continue their research to assess long term effects.
The study, funded by the Swiss Research Foundation on Mobile Communication, focuses on children and young adolescents due to the small size of their heads, which could allow twice as much radiation exposure.
Much concern arose since the World Health Organization released a statement last month that radiation emitted from cell phones could be "possibly carcinogenic" and cause a malignant cancer called glioma. However, a Danish study released in early July following adult cell phone users over 15 years did not find a connection to mobile phones and non-cancerous brain tumors, which suggests that cell phones are less likely to emit carcinogenic radiation.
Trends have also shown since cell phones became popular in the 1990's, and as more and more younger people are acquiring cell phones, the number of brain cancer reports has not increased.