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WP2: Role of IF and RF in brain cancer risk in young people

Led by Chelsea Eastman Langer, ISGlobal (former CREAL)
Collaborating institutions: ARECEA, LMU, Gertner, UNITO, UU


The rapid worldwide increase in mobile phone use in adolescents and children has generated considerable interest in the possible health effects of exposure to RF. More recently, the lack of information concerning possible health effects of IF has become a concern.


WP2 aims to evaluate the possible association between exposure to RF and IF and the risk of brain tumours in young people and, if appropriate, to evaluate possible interaction with other potential risk factors.

Proposed work

This WP will take advantage of the enormous effort already invested in setting up the MOBI-Kids study, a multinational case-control study currently underway in 15 countries to assess the potential carcinogenic effects of exposure to RF from mobile communication technologies on the central nervous system of young people. We will maintain the vast network already in place to prolong case ascertainment and extend exposure assessment to address IF exposures (in addition to RF, ELF and other environmental factors already being assessed in the study) in MOBI-Kids subjects through questionnaires and surveys.

Work is restricted to the six largest centres, which contribute 90% of the total subjects recruited within the EU-funded part of MOBI-Kids (from 194 and 313 hospitals for cases and controls respectively, covering a target population of approximately 17.8 million males and females aged 10 to 24 years old). It is noted that MOBI-Kids countries outside Europe (Australia, Canada, India, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, and Taiwan) have recently begun recruitment and will continue fieldwork through 2014 and contribute to the international analyses. They will be encouraged to include the IF questions in their study protocols in order to increase the statistical power of MOBI-Kids to study effects of IF.

Information on IF exposure sources will be collected for approximately 500 cases and their respective controls (2 controls per case, matched on age, gender and region). As a number of subjects who reported working had jobs in shops, malls, etc., where exposure to IF from EAS devices is possible, information will therefore be collected not only about environmental sources (such as induction cookers) of exposure of the subject (and his/her mother during pregnancy) but also about sources of occupational exposure for the subjects who have worked and for their parents. In conjunction with WP6, IF estimates for the study subjects and their parents will be derived, incorporating estimates of IF exposure in homes and occupational settings together with questionnaire responses.