Children and electromagnetic fields
recent supplement of the journal "Bioelectromagnetics"
was devoted to the issue of children and exposure to electromagnetic
fields. The papers are based on presentations at a workshop on "Sensitivity
of Children to EMF Exposure", which was held in Istanbul, Turkey,
in June 2004. The workshop was organized and co-sponsored by WHO,
the European Commission Coordination Action EMF-NET, the Swedish
Radiation Protection Authority (SSI), the Electric Power Research
Institute (EPRI), European Cooperation in the Field of Scientific
and Technical research (COST 281), the Research Association for
Radio Applications (FGF), International Commission on Non-Ionizing
Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), and the Medical Faculty of Gazi University
in the papers in the Supplement was one by Christ and Kuster that
reviewed the evidence about RF energy absorption in the heads of
children and adults. The authors concluded that the evidence does
not support "the assumption that the energy exposure increases
due to smaller heads, but identifies open issues regarding the dielectric
tissue parameters and the thickness of the pinna". Another
paper, by Feychting, reviews non-cancer EMF effects related to children.
a Guest Editorial, Repacholi and colleagues state:
"It was concluded at the Workshop that there is no direct
evidence that children are more vulnerable to EMF. However, the
Workshop also concluded, as did a recent review into the health
effects of exposure to EMF (AGNIR, 2003), that there is little
research that addresses this question (Kheifets et al., 2005)".
The Workshop also drafted a research agenda to address key gaps
in knowledge on the subject.
research papers discussed below were first presented at the Workshop.
Repacholi M, Saunders R, van Deventer E, Kheifets L. Guest editors'
introduction: Is EMF a potential environmental risk for children?
Bioelectromagnetics 2005;26, Issue S7:S2-4.
Christ A, Kuster N. Differences in RF energy absorption in the heads
of adults and children. Bioelectromagnetics 2005;26, Issue S7:S45-50.
Feychting M. Non-cancer EMF effects related to children. Bioelectromagnetics
2005; 26, issue S7:S69-74.
studies of cell phones in children show no effect on cognitive function
first studies of the effect of exposure to radiofrequency radiation
(RFR) from cell phones on cognitive
function in children have been published recently in "Bioelectromagnetics".
Both groups of authors have previously reported that RFR exposure
from cell phones had a facilitating effect on cognitive function
in adults, although Haarala and colleagues could not replicate their
findings in a second study that had improved methodology.
study was able to demonstrate any effect on cognitive function from
exposure to a 902 MHz GSM phone in children who were aged 10 - 14
a separate paper Sienkiewicz and colleagues reviewed neurobehavioural
effects of electromagnetic fields in children. They concluded:
"... exposure of children to low level EMFs may not cause
significant detrimental effects on brain function. However, the
available evidence is not sufficient to draw any definite conclusions".
For more, see "Research
- Clinical studies - cognitive function".
Preece AW, Goodfellow S, Wright MG, Butler SR, et al. Effect of
902 MHz mobile phone transmission on cognitive function in children.
Bioelectromagnetics 2005; 26, issue S7:S138-143.
C, Bergman M, Laine M, Revonsuo A, et al. Electromagnetic field
emitted by 902 MHz mobile phones shows no effect on children's cognitive
function. Bioelectromagnetics 2005; 26, issue S7:S144-150.
Z, Jones N, Bottomley A. Neurobehavioural effects of electromagnetic
fields. Bioelectromagnetics 2005; 26, issue S7:S116-126
phones' EMFs do not affect inner ears of rats
and colleagues report that exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs)
from cell phones, at a frequency of 900 or 1800 MHz had no effect
on the inner ear function of rats. The animals were exposed to the
EMFs for 2 hours a day, 5 days per week, for 4 weeks. This report
adds to the growing list of publications that have shown no effect
of EMFs on the functioning of the ear mechanisms. For more, see
"Research - Toxicological
experiments - Others - Ear, and Clinical
Experiments -Others - Hearing".
Galloni P, Parazzini M, Piscitelli M, Pinto R, et al. Electromagnetic
fields from mobile phones do not affect the inner auditory system
of Sprague-Dawley rats. Radiation Research 2005;164:798-804.