MOBI-KIDS (Risk of brain cancer from exposure to radiofrequency fields in childhood and adolescence) is a five-year research project to be launched on 1 March 2009. It has 14 partners and the EU contribution is €3.5 million.
The rapid worldwide increase in mobile phone use in adolescents and, more recently, children has generated considerable interest in the possible health effects of exposure to radio frequency (RF) fields. MOBI-KIDS aims to assess the potential carcinogenic effects of childhood and adolescent exposure to RF and extremely low frequency (ELF) from mobile telephones on tumours of the central nervous system. The study will include over 1 900 cases of malignant and benign brain tumours aged 10–24 years and their respective controls from 11 countries. 1 400 of these cases, from seven European countries and Israel, will be collected within this project. The rest of the cases will be recruited from Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
The project will build upon the methodological experience (both in terms of exposure assessment and epidemiological design) collected within the INTERPHONE study. ELF from the phones will be considered, as well as other important sources of electromagnetic fields (EMF) in the general environment of young people. The proposed age range is the most cost-efficient to answer the question (because of latency) of brain cancer risk from exposure in childhood and adolescence. The timing of the project is optimal (2009–14) because of the increasing prevalence of heavy use among adolescents and, in the last 5–10 years, children, without hands-free kits, particularly in Southern European countries and Israel.