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Does the radiation of Smartphone & Co make adolescents forgetful?

Does the radiation of Smartphone & Co make adolescents forgetful?
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Christian Boas

High-frequency electromagnetic fields, which occur with the use of mobile phones, have a negative effect on the memory performance under certain conditions. This has resulted in a one-year study involving almost 700 young people between the ages of 12 and 17 in Switzerland, led by the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH). Details were published in the magazine “Environmental Health Perspectives”.

Earlier results confirmed
The cumulative brain HF-EMF exposure of mobile phones for over a year has a negative impact on the development of figural memory in adolescents, the researchers warn. This confirms 2015 results. Figural memory is mainly located in the right hemisphere, and the impact of RF-EMF was more pronounced in those adolescents who also used their mobile phone on the right side of the head.

“This indicates that electromagnetic radiation absorbed by the brain is responsible for the observed relationships,” explains Martin Röösli, Head of Environment & Health at the Swiss TPH.

Other aspects of wireless communication, such as sending text messages, playing games or surfing the Internet, cause only a small amount of radiation in the brain and have no connection with the development of memory, the scientist. Telephoning is thus the most stressful.

“A unique feature of this study is the use of objectively collected user data from mobile operators,” says Röösli. He stresses that further research is needed to rule out the influence of other factors. “For example, the study outcomes may have been influenced by adolescence, which affects both mobile phone use and participants’ behavior and cognitive abilities.”

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