For teenagers, the risks of exposure to radiofrequency or microwave radiation may be greater than for children as they are more likely to own mobile phones and to use them frequently. Teenagers face strong peer and cultural pressure to stay socially connected via smartphones and tablets, using wireless technology.
Yet a study in Sweden from 2011 found that there was a significant increase in the risk of developing malignant brain tumours among those who had started using a mobile phone before the age of 20. New research into teenage mobile phone use also points to alarming health risks, including a five-fold increase in brain cancers.
Indeed, Public Health England (PHE)'s current advice on use of mobile phones by under-15s is to limit themselves to essential calls only and use a hands-free kit as a precautionary approach.
Placing wireless devices on their laps affects all teenagers' developing reproductive organs, increasing the risk of infertility in later life. Keeping mobile phones close to the lower back or abdominal area (in front or back pockets) is particularly linked to infertility in young men.
In fact, all wireless devices including mobile phones, tablets and laptops, come with small print warnings that they are not safe if held directly on the body.
Radiofrequency radiation also inhibits the production of melatonin, an essential hormone for regulating sleep. Low melatonin is also associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.
Teenagers increasingly sleep next to their phones and have them permanently switched on, in some cases waking through the night to check incoming messages. A fear of missing out on messages or social media updates makes it almost impossible for them to 'disconnect'. A 2016 survey found that some teenagers were checking their mobile phones up to 10 times a night.
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