Study: Cell phones don't up brain cancer risk in kids - CBS 5 - KPHO

Study: Cell phones don't up brain cancer risk in kids

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A new study finds cell phone use does not increase the risk of brain cancer in children and teens. The results ease concerns that radiation from the phones could damage children's developing nervous systems. But some experts say more long term follow up is still needed.

Like most of her friends, 11-year-old Rebecca Greenwald has a cell phone.

"I like to call my mom after activities, text my friends, see what they're doing," said Rebecca.

Her mother knew there could be a link between radiation from cell phones and brain tumors, but wasn't concerned.

"I'm one of those if everybody's doing it, it must not be that bad," said Rebecca's mom, Cheryl.

She was happy to hear the results of a new study that finds cell phone use does not increase the risk of brain cancer in children and teens. Researchers in Switzerland looked at hundreds of brain cancer patients and found they were not more likely to have been regular cell phone users.

But experts say the study only looks at childhood brain tumors and doesn't address the long term impact of cell phone use.

"The question is the child that begins using the cell phone at seven or age 12, when they're 47, after four decades of using the cell phone is their risk of developing brain cancer higher?" asked Dr. Keith Black of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

There's speculation children may be more susceptible because their skulls are thinner and more radiation could penetrate the brain tissue. Experts say if you're concerned use an ear piece or the phone's speaker.

Cheryl Greenwald isn't worried because her daughter mostly texts and only talks on her phone when necessary.

"It makes me feel better as soon as she calls me," says Greenwald, "I know that she's ok."

Rebecca likes her independence but also likes knowing help is just a phone call away.

In May, a World Health Organization panel concluded that it was possible cell phones could cause cancer, putting the devices in the same category as coffee, engine exhaust and chloroform.

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