ADHD in Children & Cell Phone Use

Is there a link?

Reported by University College of Medicine in Korea
Survey by: NIT DOCOMO’S Mobile Society Research Institute

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Researchers at the University College of Medicine in Korea hypothesized that children who use cell phones may be at a greater risk of developing ADHD. Cell phones emit low dose electromagnetic fields(EMF). They discovered a link.

NIT DOCOMO’S Mobile Society Research Institute reveals that nearly 70% of all children surveyed use a cell phone. In some countries, use exceeded more than 80%.

Since it’s obvious that cell phone exposure is nearly impossible to avoid, it is important to know if cell phone EMF can cause ADHD. To determine if a connection exists, the researchers analyzed data from more than 2,400 elementary school children for ADHD symptoms and cell phone exposure. These data were acquired through the use of parental reports.

The researchers waited two years and interviewed the participants again. They found that children who used cell phones for voice calls were more likely to develop symptoms of ADHD than those who didn’t. However, ADHD symptoms were only statistically significant in children who also had high levels of lead in their blood.

Significantly, the researchers found that children who stopped using cell phones during the study period had a much sharper decline in ADHD symptoms than those who continued using cell phones.

Some nations around the world are either banning or limiting cell phone use by children, and some by those under the age of 12 years-old. The United Kingdom, Israel, Belgium, Germany, and India have discouraged use of cell phones by children. France is considering law which would make it illegal to market cell phones to children. Russia has recommended that children under the age of 18 years not use cell phones at all.

What cannot be determined by the Korean study is reverse causality. Other studies indicate that ADHD children are compelled to use their cell phone more frequently. So, the study cannot say whether cell phone use causes ADHD or whether ADHD children just use their phones more frequently.

Also, prior studies have exposed a connection between lead levels and ADHD. So, while there may be a connection between cell phone use and ADHD, that link cannot be determined specifically through this study. Based on current research, it is intelligent to limit cell phone use or use the cell phone with a wired headset to keep the cell phone away from the head.