Good news for cell phone radiation research: A new study is being funded in New Zealand to uncover whether children who use cell phones regularly are at a higher risk for brain cancer.
It's a delicate topic, and one that causes many of us to adopt a precautionary philosophy: since children's brains, skulls, bones and tissue are more sensitive as they're still growing, it seems logical that children are at higher risk for harmful effects of cell phone radiation exposure, and therefore should be better protected from the radio-frequency electromagnetic fields they're exposed to by mobile devices.
The research is being lead by Massey University's Centre for Public Health Research in Wellington, and has been granted nearly half a million dollars in government funding to conduct the worldwide study.
It will be the largest study of its kind, including 15 countries, 2200 young patients, and 4400 youths who don't have brain cancer.
Of course, a study like this is plenty overdue, since a 2008 New Zealand survey revealed that 22% of 6 to 8-year-olds, 42% of 9 to 11-year-olds and 71% for 12 to 13-year-olds were using mobile phones.
A New Zealand organization, Cure Kids, is also contributing $100,000 in funds to the study. According to its chief executive Vicki Lee, "brain tumours are the second-most-common cancer type in young people under the age of 20, after leukaemia, yet the causes of brain tumours are largely unknown." She hopes the research will offer insight into the ever-increasing trend of mobile phone-using children.
Here's hoping that we will all have more answers very soon. In the meantime, we recommend equipping kids' Android-run smartphones with the tawkon app, free, easy to use, and kid-friendly.
Does your child use a cell phone?