The main difference concerning the use of mobile phones (MPs) between today's children and adults is the longer lifetime exposure of children when they grow older, due to starting to use MPs at an early age. Additionally, recent trends lead to a higher frequency of use among children, including higher popularity of MPs and features specifically designed to attract children. The prevalence of MP users is already very high and reaches >90% among adolescents in some countries. In a German study, 6% of 9-10 years old children used a MP for making calls daily; 35% owned their own MP. For children, MPs are dominant sources of radio wave exposures and relevant sources of extremely low frequency magnetic fields. For very young children, however, environmental exposure to radio waves may be of concern. In conclusion, children will have a much higher cumulative exposure to radio waves than today's adults when they are at the same age. Radio wave exposure of children may be estimated more easily, because the variety of exposure sources is smaller than for adults. As long as adverse health effects cannot be ruled out with some degree of certainty, it appears to be appropriate to instruct children and their parents about a prudent use of MPs.
Copyright 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc