Cell phone radiation can affect adolescent memory
For years it has been controversial among experts whether cell phone radiation can harm health. In the past, there have been repeated warnings about high-frequency electromagnetic radiation, but according to scientific studies there is no such cell phone risk. However, researchers have now found that cell phone radiation can negatively affect memory performance.
Health risks from cell phone radiation
Can Cell Phones Cause Cancer? This question has been controversial among experts for years. An older study showed that cell phone radiation can promote cancer growth - at least in mice. And also in other scientific studies there was evidence that cell phone radiation is a risk factor for brain tumors. However, many scientists doubt that there is such a connection. However, the rays are not harmless because, as a new study has now shown, high-frequency electromagnetic fields can have a disadvantageous effect on the development of memory performance in certain brain regions when using mobile phones.
Previous studies without clear results
As the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) wrote in a message, the rapid development of information and communication technologies has led to increased exposure to high-frequency electromagnetic fields (HF-EMF) in everyday life.
The most important source of exposure for the brain is therefore the use of a cell phone near the head.
However, scientific studies analyzing the health effects of HF-EMF have so far not been able to provide clear results.
Effects on adolescent memory
In a study carried out by the Swiss TPH, the relationship between RF-EMF exposure from mobile phones and memory performance in adolescents was examined.
The study, in which 700 teenagers aged between 12 and 17 participated, follows on from a report published in 2015 in the journal "Environment International" and includes double the sample size and more recent information on the absorption of electromagnetic radiation in the brain of adolescents.
It is said to be the world's first epidemiological study to estimate the cumulative brain RF EMF dose in adolescents.
The results of the current study are now published in the journal "Environmental Health Perspectives".
When the phone is used on the right side of the head
The Swiss study found that cumulative brain RF EMF exposure from mobile phones over a year can have a negative impact on the development of figural memory in adolescents. This confirms the results of 2015.
As explained in the release, figural memory is primarily located in the right brain, and the influence of RF-EMF was more pronounced among adolescents who also used their cell phones on the right side of the head.
"This indicates that electromagnetic radiation absorbed by the brain is responsible for the observed relationships," says Martin Röösli, head of the Environment and Health Unit at Swiss TPH.
Low radiation levels when sending text messages, playing games and surfing
Other aspects of wireless communication, such as sending text messages, playing games, or surfing the Internet, are reported to have low brain radiation levels and have been unrelated to memory development.
"A unique selling point of this study is the use of objectively collected user data from mobile operators," explained Röösli.
However, he emphasized that further research is necessary to rule out the influence of other factors.
"For example, the study results may have been influenced by puberty, which affects both mobile phone use and the behavior and cognitive skills of participants."
Minimize risks by using headsets or speakers
As the message concludes, studying the effects of RF EMF exposure on the brain is a relatively new area of research.
"It is still unclear how high-frequency electromagnetic radiation could affect brain processes or how relevant our findings are in the long term," said Röösli.
"Possible risks to the brain can be minimized by using headsets or loudspeakers when making calls, especially when the network quality is low and the cell phone is at maximum performance." (Ad)