Why are Youths and Young Adults at Greater Risk?
Investigation on Wireless Impacts on Children - Cell Phones, Wi-Fi, and Cordless Phones
- Cancer Studies
- Children using mobile phones before age 20 were found to have a fivefold (5.2x) elevated risk in malignant brain tumors, according to a Swedish study by Hardell.
- Studies have shown a much greater risk for young adults as opposed to all adults. See Flaw #4 (29/44) of Cellphones and Brain Tumors: 15 Reasons for Concern: Science, Spin and the Truth Behind Interphone.
- Cancer specialist Ronald Herberman notes that brain cancer is on the rise for young adults in the last decade.
- Neurosurgeons are worried that the age of their patients is on the downward trend. In general, brain tumors used to affect older individuals, not youths. For more information on what neurosurgeons are saying, see the Growing Awareness page.
- Mental Health Studies
- A recent Russian study published in Radiation Ecology, 2011, found that child mobile phone users had increased numbers of "phonemic perception disorders, abatement of efficiency, reduced indicators for the arbitrary and semantic memory, and increased fatigue"
- Two recent studies found that Wi-Fi could affect young adults' brain functions. (See PubMed entry.) There are recent Canadian news reports of Canadian schoolchildren getting sick from Wi-Fi routers installed within the schools.
- Dr R R Mohanty and KC Purohit surveyed 82 Undergraduate students between 20 and 30 on health effects from cell phone use, and found the complaints such as headaches, sleep disturbances, pain in the ear, burning sensation in the face, memory loss, and lack of concentration. This was published in 2011 in the Indian Journal of Community Medicine.
- 13,159 mothers completed a questionnaire on their cell phone use during pregnancy and their child's cell phone use. This usage resulted in greater odds of behavioral problems, such as emotional and hyperactivity problems, to children with prenatal exposure. (See PubMed entry: Prenatal and postnatal exposure to cell phone use and behavioral problems in children)
- A study by Gaby Badre, MD, PhD, of Sahlgren's Academy in Gothenburg, on 21 healthy subjects, found youths using cell phones were more prone to disrupted sleep, stress, and fatigue. The control group made less than 5 calls or 5 sent texts a day while the experimental group made more than 15 calls or 15 sent texts. (See the Science Daily report.)
- A study published in the Korean Journal of Epidemiology in 2005 by Professor Kim Dong-hyun's team studied 501 high school students and found a difference in levels of depression between those who used cell phones the least and those who used them the most. (See Chosun article).
- Magda Havas warns that certain wireless baby monitors may be unsafe for babies if they are radiating continually, e.g., DECT baby monitors. For more information about DECT, see "What is DECT?".
The RNCNIRP 2011 reports that children have more stem cells than adults and that stem cells were shown to be especially sensitive to RF EMF. It recommends that children under the age of 18 refrain from using a cell phone.
Om Gandhi found RF energy absorption differences between children & adults. Look at the different penetrations in a child's head vs. adult head in the video to the right from Devra Davis of environmentalhealthtrust.org. Some parts of children's brains may absorb twise as much as adults from cell phones, according to Physics in Medicine and Biology 2008.
Many are concerned that wireless radiation is more serious for children more than adults. Here are four reasons.
- First, it has been shown to penetrate further into a child's smaller head, which is still developing.
- Secondly, children are still under development, so their cells are dividing more rapidly. Their immune system may not be as developed. Their brains may not be fully myelinated even after age 20. They have more stem cells than adults, which are sensitive to RF EMF.
- Third, they will have a longer lifetime exposure and still have much of their lives in front of them to live. A time lag of 10-20 years to develop cancer will impact them more significantly during the prime of their lives. EMF exposure is also a risk factor for early onset Alzheimer's and many other health issues.
- Fourth, the accumulated genetic damage over their lifetime can impact their future offspring, e.g., radar operators' children were found to have a higher incidence of Down's syndrome.