5. Conclusions on mobile phones and radio frequency fields
Few studies have looked at effects on children
Extensive research has been conducted in recent years on how radio frequency fields, including those generated by mobile phones, might affect health. A variety of possible effects has been studied, both inside the laboratory and among human populations. No health effect has been consistently demonstrated at exposure levels below existing guidelines for the general public.
To date studies indicate that a person who has used a mobile phone for up to 10 years does not appear to have a higher risk of brain tumours or other cancers in the skull. This also appears to be the case for someone who has used a mobile phone for more than 10 years but more research is needed. Some studies suggest benign tumours of the auditory nerve (acoustic neuroma) may be linked to long term mobile phone use, and more study is needed.
Research has found no evidence so far that exposure to radio signals at levels below existing safety guidelines could cause symptoms like headaches and dizziness in particularly sensitive people. More studies are needed, however.
Currently available studies on effects on the brain and the nervous system and on effects on reproduction indicate no health risk at exposure levels below guidelines.
Studies on animals have provided no evidence that radio frequency fields trigger cancer, enhance the effects of known carcinogens, or accelerate development of existing tumours. Questions remain about adequacy of the experimental models and scarcity of data at high exposure levels.
As for diseases other than cancer, the research is very limited. A particular consideration is mobile phone use by children. While no specific evidence exists, there is concern that children may be more sensitive to radio signals than adults. By the time they are adults, children will probably have a higher cumulative exposure than today’s adults. To date, no epidemiological studies on children are available.
Sources of RF exposure are becoming increasingly common. But there is a profound lack of information on individual exposure and the relative contribution of different radio frequency sources to the overall exposure. Moreover, there is insufficient understanding about mechanisms that could lead to effects below safety guidelines. More...