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Study finds mobile (cell) phone radiation affects memory performance in adolescents

Cancer is not the only health effect from cell phones documented in the published  literature.

A replication study by the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute found one year of mobile phone linked to memory damage in teenagers. Specifically the teens that used the phone against one side of their head scored more poorly on tests that measured memory  skills specific to the brain regions getting the highest exposure.

  • This is a replication study with double sample size confirming prior results from 2015 study.  
  • Higher cumulative RF-EMF brain exposure from mobile phone use over one year was associated with figural memory performance in adolescents. 
  • Figural memory is mainly located in the right brain hemisphere and association with RF-EMF was more pronounced in adolescents using the mobile phone on the right side of the head. “This may suggest that indeed RF-EMF absorbed by the brain is responsible for the observed associations.” said Martin Röösli, Head of Environmental Exposures and Health at Swiss TPH.
  • Objectively collected mobile phone user data from mobile phone operators was used. 

News coverage of the study 

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Mobile phone radiation may affect memory performance in adolescents

Excerpts from a press release by the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, EurekAlert, Jul 19, 2018 found online here. 

“The research conducted by scientists at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) looked at the relationship between exposure to RF-EMF from wireless communication devices and memory performance in adolescents. The study follows up a report published in the scientific journal Environment International in 2015 with twice the sample size and more recent information on the absorption of RF-EMF in adolescents’ brains during different types of wireless communication device use. These are the world’s first epidemiological studies to estimate cumulative RF-EMF brain dose in adolescents.

The study to be published on 19 July 2018 found that cumulative RF-EMF brain exposure from mobile phone use over one year may have a negative effect on the development of figural memory performance in adolescents, confirming prior results published in 2015. Figural memory is mainly located in the right brain hemisphere and association with RF-EMF was more pronounced in adolescents using the mobile phone on the right side of the head. “This may suggest that indeed RF-EMF absorbed by the brain is responsible for the observed associations.” said Martin Röösli, Head of Environmental Exposures and Health at Swiss TPH.

The data gathered from the Health Effects Related to Mobile phone usE in adolescentS (HERMES) cohort looked at the relationship between exposure to RF-EMF and development of memory performance of almost 700 adolescents over the course of one year. Participants, aged 12 to 17 years, were recruited from 7th to 9th public school grades in urban and rural areas of Swiss-German speaking Switzerland.”

Science  Daily, 2018 Mobile phone radiation may affect memory performance in adolescents

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 Foerster M., Thielens A., Joseph W., Eeftens M., Röösli M. (2018) A prospective cohort study of adolescents’ memory performance and individual brain dose of microwave radiation from wireless communication. Environmental Health Perspectives

Study Finds Memory Damage in Teens: Cell Phone Radiation Health Effects