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Use of mobile and cordless phones and change in cognitive function: a prospective cohort analysis of Australian primary school children

This is an Australian prospective cohort study that investigated the effect of wireless (mobile and cordless) phone use and cognitive function in children. A total of 412 children from 36 schools in Melbourne and Wollongong were followed for a period of up to 28 months. The information on socio-demographics and wireless phone use was obtained via questionnaires. The change in various cognitive outcomes (evaluated via computer-based tests) between the start of the study period and the follow-up at the end was assessed. The study found limited evidence that increased wireless phone use was associated with cognitive function.

Authored By: 
Bhatt CR, Benke G, Smith CL, Redmayne M, Dimitriadis C, Dalecki A, Macleod S, Sim MR, Croft RJ, Wolfe R, Kaufman J, Abramson MJ
Published In: 
Environ Health 2017; 16 (1): 62
Literature Survey Date: 
Commentary by ARPANSA: 

The World Health Organization (WHO) has previously identified in their radiofrequency (RF) research agenda that studies into children’s behavioural and neurological outcomes associated with RF electromagnetic fields (EMF) exposure are of high priority (http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2010/9789241599948_eng.pdf?ua=1).  

ARPANSA recently published an RF research agenda, where it serves as an interim solution to identifying priority research needs for Australia, as the WHO’s 2010 research agenda has become dated. Prospective cohort studies of children and adolescents investigating exposure to RF EMF and various outcomes including cancer and behavioural and neurological disorders remain high in priority. The ARPANSA RF research agenda is available at Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Energy and Health: Research Needs.