A study released on Wednesday showed that there is no link between cell phones and cancer in young kids and adolescents, though further research will be conducted to show long-term effects of cell phone usage.
The Swiss study monitored cell phone use by nearly 1,000 young people ages 7-19, including 352 with pre-existing brain tumors and 646 without brain tumors. Each child, sampled from different parts of Europe, documented their cell phone usage, both groups reporting to have used a cell phone 20 times or more.
The findings, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, showed that cell phones do not cause cancer nor risk the development of brain tumors, especially in the brain regions where cell phone radiation exposure is highest. The children who were previously diagnosed with brain tumors used cell phones just as often, more or less, in 5 years than healthy children without cancer, further proving no significant gap in cell phone usage.
"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. He noted that five years of cell phone usage, the period studied, does not risk the development of cancer.
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."
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.
Children and young people were the targets for this study, funded by the Swiss Research Foundation on Mobile Communication, since their heads are smaller and not fully developed, particularly in the skull region where the temporal bones, located nearby the ear, mature.