UK to study wireless impact

Updated: 2014-05-21 08:07

By Reuters (China Daily)

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UK to study wireless impact

Wholegrain bread reduces risk of diabetes 

UK to study wireless impact

Vision for the future 

In Britain, some 70 percent of 11-and 12-year-olds now own a mobile phone, and that figure rises to 90 percent by age14.

Elliott and the study's principal investigator, Mireille Toledano, aim to recruit around 2,500 schoolchildren aged between 11 and 12, and follow their cognitive development over two years while collecting data on how often, for what, and for how long they use mobile or smart phones and other wireless devices.

Parents and pupils who agree to take part in the study will answer questions about the children's use of mobile devices and wireless technologies, well-being and lifestyle. Pupils will also undertake classroom-based computerized tests of the cognitive abilities behind functions like memory and attention.

"Cognition is essentially how we think, how we make decisions and how we process and recall information," says Toledano, who is also at Imperial College's Center for Environment and Health.

"It is linked to intelligence and educational achievement and forms the building blocks of the innovative and creative potential of every individual and therefore society as a whole."

The WHO says a large number of studies have been performed over the past two decades to assess whether mobile phones pose a potential health risk, and to date, no adverse health effects have been established.

Still, the electromagnetic fields produced by mobile phones are classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as "possibly carcinogenic to humans", and the global health agency has said more research into the issue is vital.

Current British health policy guidelines say children under 16 should been couraged to use mobile phones for essential purposes only, and where possible use a hands-free kit or text.

But Toledano says this advice was "given in the absence of available evidence-and not because we have evidence of any harmful effects".

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