UK to study wireless impact

Updated: 2014-05-21 08:07

By Reuters (China Daily)

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UK to study wireless impact

More and more teenagers are mobile-phone users in China despite concerns over the health risks potentially posed by the wireless gadgets. [Photo/China Daily]

UK to study wireless impact

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UK to study wireless impact

Vision for the future 

Britain set to launch the world's largest research on the effect of radio waves on children.

British researchers are launching the world's largest study to investigate whether using mobile phones and other wireless gadgets might affect children's brain development. The Study of Cognition, Adolescents and Mobile Phones, or SCAMP project, will focus on cognitive functions, such as memory and attention, which continue to develop into adolescence-just the age when teenagers start to own and use personal phones.

While there is no convincing evidence that radio waves from mobile phones affect health, to date most scientific research has focused on adults and the potential risk of brain cancers.

Because of that, scientists are uncertain as to whether children's developing brains may be more vulnerable than adult brains-partly because their nervous systems are still developing, and partly because they are likely to have a higher cumulative exposure over their lifetimes.

"Scientific evidence available to date is reassuring and shows no association between exposure to radio frequency waves from mobile phone use and brain cancer in adults in the short term that is less than 10 years of use," says Paul Elliott, director of the Center for Environment and Health at Imperial College London, who will co-lead the research.

"But the evidence available regarding long-term heavy use and children's use is limited and less clear."

Mobile phone use is ubiquitous, with the World Health Organization estimating 4.6 billion subscriptions globally.

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