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How Mobile Phones Affect Teens' Memory


How Mobile Phones Affect Teens' Memory

Do you often wonder if holding a hot phone to your ear is bad for your health? Well, a new study has revealed how mobile phones affect memory in young people. And it turns out, all that radiation isn’t doing us any good.
Published in Environmental Health Perspectives, the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute study suggested radiofrequency electromagnetic (RE-EMF) fields can negatively impact memory performance in various parts of the brain.
It comes off the back of a report published in Environment International journal which used a bigger test group to track how RE-EMF is absorbed in adolescent brains when using different digital devices.

How was the discovery made?

Close to 700 teenagers in Switzerland took part in the latest research. Aged 12 to 17, the participants underwent memory performance tests for one year. Their mobile phone usage was also tracked, using data from mobile phone providers.

What were the results?

The findings clearly showed that brain exposure to RE-EMF had a negative effect on teen’s figural memory performance.
Teens who held their phone up to the right side of their head experienced a more profound change in memory performance –  and that just happens to be where the figural memory part of the brain is located.
"This may suggest that indeed RF-EMF absorbed by the brain is responsible for the observed associations." said Martin Röösli, Head of Environmental Exposures and Health at Swiss TPH.

Should we stop using mobile phones?

The researchers are quick to point out that the data might appear differently in adults, since puberty affects teens’ mobile phone use as well as their cognitive development. So further research needs to be done to explore these variables.

But is exposure to RE-EMF bad for our brains?

"It is not yet clear how RF-EMF could potentially affect brain processes or how relevant our findings are in the long-term." said Röösli.
"Potential risks to the brain can be minimised by using headphones or the loud speaker while calling, in particular when network quality is low and the mobile phone is functioning at maximum power."


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