Brain tumours have overtaken leukaemia as the leading cause of  cancer deaths in children 1 (both are associated with EMR exposure). Children today have an unprecedented exposure that is higher than that experienced any generation before them and they have been shown to absorb more radiation than adults.

A five year old can absorb sixty percent more microwave radiation than an adult 2 and exposures in bone marrow can be up to ten times greater 3. Overall, they are more likely to suffer greater biological effects from EMR exposure because:

  • Children’s thinner skulls, and smaller bones allow greater absorption into bone and deeper tissues
  • Children’s brains (especially neonates) can have higher water content and so absorb more radiation
  • Children are smaller (a relatively higher proportion of their tissues may be closer to a point source) 4 5 6 7
  • Children have more vulnerable developing systems (e.g. neurological/reproductive)
  • Children have a longer time ahead for latent effects to manifest 8 9 10 11.

There is evidence that genetic damage caused by exposure within current guidelines may not only damage the exposed child, but also their offspring 12 13 14.

Mobile phone radiation penetration in brain by age

Thank you to Professor Om Gandhi


1. Stiller C, ed. Childhood Cancer in Britain: Incidence, survival, mortality. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2007

2. Stewart Report 2000, Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones (IEGMP), Chairman Sir William Stewart.

3. Christ, A., Gosselin, M-C., Christopoulou, M., et al. (2010). Phys. Med. Biol. 55:1767–1783. Age-dependent tissue-specific exposure of cell phone users.

4. Gandhi et al, 1996, IEEE Trans. Microwave Theor. Techniq. 44(10):1884–1897. Electromagnetic absorption in the human head and neck for mobile telephones at 835 and 1900 MHz.

5. Gandhi et al, 2012, Electromagn Biol Med. 2012 Mar;31(1):34-51. Exposure limits: the underestimation of absorbed cell phone radiation, especially in children.
(full paper)

6. De Salles et al, 2006, Electromagn Biol Med. 2006;25(4):349-60. Electromagnetic absorption in the head of adults and children due to mobile phone operation close to the head.

7. Wiart et al, 2008, Phys Med Biol. 2008 Jul 7;53(13):3681-95. Analysis of RF exposure in the head tissues of children and adults.

8. Redmayne, 2013, Environ Health. 2013 Jan 10;12:5. doi: 10.1186/1476-069X-12-5. New Zealand adolescents’ cellphone and cordless phone user-habits: are they at increased risk of brain tumours already? A cross-sectional study.

9. Hardell et al, 2009, Pathophysiology, Volume 16, Issue 2 , Pages 113-122, August 2009. Epidemiological evidence for an association between use of wireless phones and tumor diseases

10. Hardell et al, 2007, Int J Oncol. 2011 May;38(5):1465-74. Pooled analysis of case-control studies on malignant brain tumours and the use of mobile and cordless phones including living and deceased subjects.

11. Lönn et al, 2004, Epidemiology. 2004 Nov;15(6):653-9.Mobile phone use and the risk of acoustic neuroma.

12. Gul et al, 2009, Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2009 Nov;280(5):729-33. The effects of microwave emitted by cellular phones on ovarian follicles in rats. (full paper)

13. Magras & Zenos, 1997, Bioelectromagnetics. 1997;18(6):455-61. RF radiation-induced changes in the prenatal development of mice. (full paper)

14. Sarapultseva et al, 2013, Int J Radiat Biol. 2013 Nov 25. The in-vivo effects of low-intensity radiofrequency fields on the motor activity of protozoa.

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