Effects of Mobile Phones on Children's and Adolescents' Health: A Commentary

Child Dev. 2018 Jan;89(1):137-140. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12831. Epub 2017 May 15.


The use of digital technology has grown rapidly during the last couple of decades. During use, mobile phones and cordless phones emit radiofrequency (RF) radiation. No previous generation has been exposed during childhood and adolescence to this kind of radiation. The brain is the main target organ for RF emissions from the handheld wireless phone. An evaluation of the scientific evidence on the brain tumor risk was made in May 2011 by the International Agency for Research on Cancer at World Health Organization. The scientific panel reached the conclusion that RF radiation from devices that emit nonionizing RF radiation in the frequency range 30 kHz-300 GHz is a Group 2B, that is, a "possible" human carcinogen. With respect to health implications of digital (wireless) technologies, it is of importance that neurological diseases, physiological addiction, cognition, sleep, and behavioral problems are considered in addition to cancer. Well-being needs to be carefully evaluated as an effect of changed behavior in children and adolescents through their interactions with modern digital technologies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cell Phone*
  • Child
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / etiology*
  • Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Radio Waves / adverse effects*
  • Wireless Technology*