In the rough
debate surrounding the mobile phone's ability to cause cancer
, both sides agree that our young ones -- indeed, some of the heaviest users -- could be at an increased risk for cellular-induced tumors. According to a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute
, the radio emissions from mobile devices penetrate much deeper into the brains of children, and in the case of little tykes ages five to eight, their noggins will absorb twice the energy of the average adult. This, combined with their developing nervous systems, has brought concern for the welfare of our youngest mobile-savvy citizens, and led to a European study of nearly 1,000 (informed?) participants. Data was gathered over a four-year period, which relied upon self-reporting methods, where youngsters were found to not talk very often, and typically sent text messages instead -- big surprise, right?
While long-term risks remain unknown, the researchers conclude that "a large and immediate risk of cellphones causing brain tumors in children can be excluded." In other words: little Suzy won't begin sprouting cancer cells overnight. While you doting parents may find comfort in the latest research, you might consider stopping short of giving the mischievous rascal an unlimited voice plan. After all, gossip still spreads best at the school yard.
[Image courtesy Derek Olson (flickr)