New research on impact of mobiles on teenagers

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New research focused on teenagers has been launched to discover the effect of mobile phones on the cognitive developments in teenagers.

“Mobile phone technology is relatively new and there have not been many researches on how these devices might affect human health”, said Mireille B. Toledano, main investigator for the study.

It is not scientifically proven that radiofrequency from mobile phones can affect the human brain. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) published a new research agenda for radio frequency in 2010 and highlighted the need for studies focused on children and teenagers.

Toledano is leading the Study of Cognition, Adolescents and Mobile Phones (SCAMP), launched by the Imperial College of London. Toledano talked with CommsMEA on the research, which aims to determine how mobile phones impact on the cognitive development of teenagers.

Toledano says that it is still an open question whether children are more susceptible to radio frequency and electromagnetic fields since the brain is still developing during childhood and adolescence. This study will last three years and aims to follow a group of approximately 2500 to 3000 secondary school pupils within Greater London from year 7 through to year 9.

She believes that the mobile phone industry is being responsible regarding this issue. “The actors in the industry are funding research conducted by independent organisations,” stated this investigator to CommsMEA. She compared the mobile phone industry to the tobacco industry and highlighted the difference between the two, as teh mobile industry is sharing the results of research and improving technology to reduce the radio frequency. SCAMP research is funded 50% by private companies and 50% by public entities. The mobile operators funding the study are Vodafone; Orange; O2; T-mobile; Arqiva; and Carphone Warehouse.

In the Middle East and Africa region operators are working on health programs which aim to give better access to health and health information to the population. Florence Gaudry-Perkins, International Director-Global Government & Public Affairs at Alcatel-Lucent said to CommsMEA that Alcatel-Lucent is working in these specific programmes in different countries across the region. However, any operator in the region asked by CommsMEA has stated any investment on research focus on the impact that mobile phones on human health. 

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