Mobile phones: They increase cancer risk in children fivefold

Children and young adults have a five times greater risk of developing brain tumours from mobile phones than older people, a leading researcher believes. 

Prof Lennart Hardell from the University Hospital in Orebro, Sweden, who has carried out one of the biggest studies into the cancer risks of radiation, said that young people had a five-fold greater risk of developing glioma, a cancer that attacks the central nervous system.  Young people who use cordless phones at home have a fourfold greater risk of developing the cancer.

Scientists are concerned that children and young adults up to the age of 21 are at special risk because their brains are still developing. 

His comments came in the same week that a new study, prepared by 14 scientists, accuses governments of playing fast and loose with the dangers, and fears that there could be an epidemic of brain tumours and other cancers in years to come.

The study, prepared for the Bio-Initiative Working Group, is calling for tougher controls on mobile phone usage, and on levels of electro-magnetic radiation, which is generated from wireless communication, such as mobiles, cordless phones and Wi-Fi.

Their recommendations follow a move last week in the European Parliament to introduce stricter limits to radiation levels from ELFs (extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields) from electrical and electronic appliances and powerlines) and RFs (radiofrequency radiation) from cell phones and cordless phones).

 (Sources:  Independent on Sunday, September 21, 2008; Bio-Initiative Report: