Center for Safer Wireless
Promoting Safety in Our Wireless World

Most teenagers send text messages when using their cell phones. While texting is safer than placing the cell phone against the head, its important to keep the cell phone at a distance from your body when texting. Each time a text message is sent or received, radiofrequency radation is absorbed by your body if the phone is resting on your body. 
Teens, especially boys, tend to keep their cell phones in their pockets. If you check your cell phone manual, you will most likely find that it states cell phones should be kept .6 inches from your body.  Your cell phone regularly checks in with a cell antenna and if the phone is in your pocket, your body absorbs the microwave radation.  Moreover, your reproductive organs get a blast of microwave radation when a call or text is received.
Teens should keep cell phones in a purse or backpack, away from the body.
Teens are increasingly using cell phones
The Pew Internet and American Life Project, part of the Pew Research Center, issued a report in April 2010 indicating that about 75 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds in the United States own a mobile phone, up from 45 percent in 2004,  Children are getting their phones at earlier ages, industry experts say. The Pew study, for example, found that 58 percent of 12-year-olds had a cellphone, up from 18 percent in 2004. 
More teens talk on a cell phone on a daily basis (38%) than on a landline (30%). On average, teens make 5 calls per day.  Whites make slightly fewer calls per day (4), as compared to African-American teens (7) and Hispanic teens (5).
Daily text messaging among teens has soared to 54% of teens as of September 2009 , as compared to 38% of teens in February 2008. Of the texting teens, 50% send 50 or more messages each day.
According to the survey, parents and children (92% and 93%) believe they are safer because they can always use their cell phone to get help. 
41% of teens report that parents place limits on the number of minutes that children can talk on a cell phone.
Full report can be found at


The article by Andreas Christ et al, Age-Dependence Tissue-Specific Exposure of Cell Phone Users in the March 5, 2010 edition of Physics in Medicine and Biology reported that when a young child talks on a cell phone, the radiation exposure in the hippocampus and hypathalmus region of the brain can be 2dB-5dB higher as compared to adults.  Children's brain marrow exposure can exceed adult exposure by a factor of 10. 
In 2005, the following conclusion was made by Leeka Keifets, PhD et al in The Sensitivity of Children to Electromagnetic Fields in Pediatrics (the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics), "In addition, because of widespread use of mobile phones and relatively high exposures to the brain among children and adolescents, investigation of the potential effects of RF fields on cognition and the development of childhood brain tumors was considered particularly urgent." Today, there is no research in the United States being conducted on the health effects of adults or children using cell phones.
Recommendations from the Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation
Read recommendations from the Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection.  Electromagnetic field is an important biotropic factor, affecting not just a human health in general, but also the processes of the higher nervous activity, including behavior and thinking. Radiation directly affects human brain when people use mobile phones.


Today, some 73% of teenagers in the United Sates use cell phones, according to 2010 figures from the Pew Internet & American Life Project. This page explains why itis important for children to use cell phones more safely. 

Air Tube Headset

Using an air tube headset keeps the radiofrequency radiation further from her developing brain. Air flows through a hollow tube from the wired cord to an ear piece on her ear.


The following countries either ban cell phone marketing to children or recommend limitations on children using cell phones:

United Kingdom






Follow the
Parents should be especially careful about when, how, how often, and why children use cell phones.  Follow the recommendations for safer cell phone use.

The images on this page demonstrate the amount of radiation penetrating the brain of a 5-year old, 10-year old, and adult using a cell phone.  Because the brains of  young children are less dense and more porous than adults, children absorb more radiofrequency radiation in their brains than adults. In 2005, the Journal of American Academy of Pediatrics confirmed that children are especially sensitive to all electromagnetic fields because their developing nervous systems are fragile, their brain tissues more conductive and their smaller skeletons more easily penetrated by the waves.1 The National Cancer Institute issued a statement that “children may be at greater risk of health effects than adults because their nervous systems are still developing at the time of exposure.”Duration of cell phone use and ipsilateral use (using the same side of the head)  increase health risks.  



Dr. Lennart Hardell, an oncologist from Sweden's University Hospital found that after one or more years of cell phone use, there is a 5.2-fold elevated risk of malignant brain tumor in children who begin using mobile phones before the age of 20 years.

Dr. Om Gandhi at the University of Utah reported that the eye lens of a 10 year old child will absorb five times more cell phone radiation than an adult eye (1996).

The following is a conclusion from a 2005 article in Pediatrics by Keifets et al, "Regarding the long-term health effects of mobile phone use, the paucity of data, particularly for children, suggests that low-cost precautionary measures are appropriate, especially because some of the exposures are close to guideline limits."2

 “Children may be more vulnerable because of their developing nervous system, the greater absorption of energy in the tissues of the head and a longer lifetime of exposure.”

Renowned British biochemist and president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science Sir William Stewart after completing a UK government report on “Mobile Phones and Health”

 "I see us facing a major problem in the future because of the fact that young children are on cell phones constantly, and we may be setting ourselves up for an epidemic of brain cancer, the same thing we did with cigarette smoking and lung cancer."
Dr. David Carpenter, director of the Institute for Health & the Environment at the University at Albany and a co-author of a report that found people who begin using mobile phones before age 20 are more than five times as likely to develop a malignant brain tumor.

Dr. Devra Lee Davis reports on children using cell phones in the following news broadcast on WBAL. 


If you would like educational videos to use when discussing the importance of cell phone safety with your children or peers, take advantage of these educational materials designed for teenagers. 
1 Published online August 1, 2005
PEDIATRICS Vol. 116 No. 2 August 2005, pp. e303-e313 (doi:10.1542/peds.2004-2541)

2 Ibid.