- These are the first images that show the shocking effect
that using a mobile phone has on a child's brain.
- Scientists have discovered that a call lasting just two
minutes can alter the natural electrical activity of a child's brain for
up to an hour afterwards.
- And they also found for the first time how radio waves
from mobile phones penetrate deep into the brain and not just around the
- The study by Spanish scientists has prompted leading
medical experts to question whether it is safe for children to use mobile
phones at all.
- Doctors fear that disturbed brain activity in children
could lead to psychiatric and behavioural problems or impair learning ability.
- It was the first time that human guinea pigs were used
to measure the effects of mobile phone radiation on children. The tests
were carried out on an 11-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl called Jennifer.
- Using a CATEEN scanner, linked to a machine measuring
brain wave activity, researchers were able to create the images above.
- The yellow coloured part of the scan on the right shows
how radiation spreads through the centre of the brain and out to the ear
on the other side of the skull. The scans found that disturbed brain wave
activity lasted for up to an hour after the phone call ended.
- Dr Gerald Hyland - a Government adviser on mobiles -
says he finds the results "extremely disturbing".
- "It makes one wonder whether children, whose brains
are still developing, should be using mobile phones," he adds.
- "The results show that children's brains are affected
for long periods even after very short-term use.
- "Their brain wave patterns are abnormal and stay
like that for a long period.
- "This could affect their mood and ability to learn
in the classroom if they have been using a phone during break time, for
- "We don't know all the answers yet, but the alteration
in brain waves could lead to things like a lack of concentration, memory
loss, inability to learn and aggressive behaviour."
- Previously it had been thought that interference with
brain waves and brain chemistry stopped when a call ended.
- The results of the study by the Spanish Neuro Diagnostic
Research Institute in Marbella coincide with a new survey that shows 87
per cent of 11- to 16-year-olds own mobile phones and 40 per cent of them
spend 15 minutes or more talking each day on them. And disturbingly, 70
per cent said they would not change the use of their phone even if advised
to by the Government.
- Dr Hyland plans to publish the latest findings in medical
journal The Lancet next year.
- He said: "This information shows there really isn't
a safe amount of mobile phone use. We don't know what lasting damage is
being done by this exposure.
- "If I were a parent I would now be extremely wary
about allowing my children to use a mobile even for a very short period.
My advice would be to avoid mobiles."
- Dr Michael Klieeisen, who conducted the study, said:
"We were able to see in minute detail what was going on in the brain.
- "We never expected to see this continuing activity
in the brain.
- "We are worried that delicate balances that exist
- such as the immunity to infection and disease - could be altered by interference
with chemical balances in the brain."
- A Department of Health spokesman said: "In children
mobile phone use should be restricted to very short periods of time."