Cell phones raise children's cancer risks

Sept. 21, 2008 at 9:25 PM
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OREBRO, Sweden, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- Children and teenagers are five times more likely to get brain cancer if they use cell phones, Swedish researchers say.

The Independent reported Sunday that Swedish researchers found that those who started using cell phones at a young age were five times more likely to get acoustic neuromas, which usually cause deafness.

By contrast, those who were in their 20s before using cellular phones were just twice as likely to get acoustic neuromas.

The newspaper said at least nine out of 10 British 16-year-olds have their own cell phone, while more than 40 percent of primary schoolchildren have one.

Professor Lennart Hardell of the University Hospital in Orebro, Sweden, said his research is a warning.

"It is very worrying. We should be taking precautions," he said.

Hardell said he believes that children under 12 should not use cell phones except in emergencies and that teenagers should use hands-free devices or headsets.

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