The Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) has led the international MOBI-Kids project, which has analysed the association between mobile phone use and the risk of suffering a brain tumour in young people. The study, the largest of its kind ever conducted, did not find a causal relationship between the two.
The research team assessed the impact of electromagnetic fields emitted by phones – radio frequency and extremely low frequency – on young people aged 10-24 years. They analysed mobile phone use behaviour, specifically the number and duration of calls made by 900 young people with brain tumours and 1900 controls. They did this through surveys and, in some cases, through an app that recorded actual usage for one month.
Until now it was thought that the closer the radiation was emitted to the temporal lobe, the greater the danger. However, as Gemma Castaño, author of the study, explains, “technology has been changing and the appearance of 4G and 5G has meant a reduction in the radiation emitted by mobiles phones“. Gemma adds that “the way we use mobile phones has also changed, now we don’t call as much and we use the mobiles from further away – for texting, for example“.
“Technology has been changing and the appearance of 4G and 5G has meant a reduction in the radiation emitted by mobiles phones”
G. Castaño-Vinyals, S. Sadetzki, R. Vermeulen, F. Momoli, M. Kundi, F. Merletti, M. Maslanyj, C. Calderon, J. Wiart, A.-K. Lee, M. Taki, M. Sim, B. Armstrong, G. Benke, R. Schattner, H.-P. Hutter, D. Krewski, C. Mohipp, P. Ritvo, J. Spinelli, B. Lacour, T. Remen, K. Radon, T. Weinmann, E.Th. Petridou, M. Moschovi, A. Pourtsidis, K. Oikonomou, P. Kanavidis, E. Bouka, R. Dikshit, R. Nagrani, A. Chetrit, R. Bruchim, M. Maule, E. Migliore, G. Filippini, L. Miligi, S. Mattioli, N. Kojimahara, N. Yamaguchi, M. Ha, K. Choi, H. Kromhout, G. Goedhart, A. ‘t Mannetje, A. Eng, C.E. Langer, J. Alguacil, N. Aragonés, M. Morales-Suárez-Varela, F. Badia, A. Albert, G. Carretero, E. Cardis. Wireless phone use in childhood and adolescence and neuroepithelial brain tumours: Results from the international MOBI-Kids study, Environment International, December 2021. Volume 160, 2022, 107069, ISSN 0160-4120, doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2021.107069.