A leading Russian scientist has said, citing a Swedish study, that the use of cell phones from an early age could lead to brain tumours.
"We have a very cautious attitude as regards children, our future generation. There is data suggesting that brain tumours could develop," Yury Grigoryev, a leading scientist at the Burnazyan medical biophysical centre said Thursday.
Grigoryev cited Swedish research data, which he said showed that if a child uses a cell phone from 8 to 12 years, then the risk of developing a brain tumour by the age of 21 increases fivefold.
He also said that every person in Russia is subject to electromagnetic radiation from cellular base stations. He said people use mobile phones too often, which means the dose of radiation they get is comparable to that received by workers whose profession involves dealing with radiolocation equipment and transmitters.
Grigoryev said there is as yet no reliable Russian research proving cell phones are harmful to health. However, he said that according to the World Health Organisation, Alzheimer's disease, depression and a greater risk of epileptic reactions could be the possible consequences of mobile phone usage.
The head of the medical centre's radiobiology and non-ionizing radiation hygiene lab, Oleg Grigoryev, said that in line with Russian sanitary norms, the use of cell phones is not recommended for minors.
"The brand or price of a cell phone doesn't matter. The dose of radiation is defined by the network operation mode and phone use intensity," he said.
Oleg Grigoryev also said that a wire or wireless headset would make the distance from a person's head to the phone over 0.5 meters, a distance believed to be safe. He also advised cutting down on calls.