SMARTPHONES RADIATION could be destroying the memory performance of a new generation of adolescents,  a troubling new study has warned.

Cumulative exposure to mobile devices over the course of a year negatively affects the figural memory of adolescents, scientists found.

Figural memory is located in the right hemisphere of the brain and refers to our ability to make sense of objects including images, patterns and shapes.

Youngsters who hold their phone next to their right ear are the most affected by exposure to radiation.

However, sending text messages, playing mobile exams, and browsing the internet may also have negative effects, albeit not as pronounced, the study showed.

Researchers from the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute [Swiss TPH] studied nearly 700  adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 in Switzerland. They looked at the link between their daily exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields [RF-EMF] and their memory performance.

The effects of RF-EMF  were more pronounced in adolescents using the  mobile phone on the right side of the head, the study revealed.

"This may suggest that indeed  RF-EMF absorbed by the brain is responsible for the observed associations, " said Martin Roosli,  Head of  Environmental Exposures and Health at Swiss TPH. Other aspects of  wireless communications use, such as sending texts, playing games or browsing the internet will cause  marginal RF-EMF exposure.

However, these were not associated with the negative development of memory.

Participants had to complete a  paper questionnaire that assessed their mobile phone and media usage, as well as  their psychological and physical health.

Immediately afterwards they did  computerised  cognitive  tests . Participants carried a portable measurement device called an  exposimeter  with an integrated GPS for three consecutive days.

At the same time a  time-activity  app on a smartphone in flight mode was filled in. This meant that scientists could link the  RF-EMF  records to a particular activity or place.

'Changes in figural memory score  were negatively correlated with cordless phone calls and in tendency, with  the duration of mobile phone calls and  the  cumulative RF-EMF  brain dose, researchers found.

Dr. Roosli emphasised  that further research is needed to rule out the influence of other factors.

'For instance, the study could have been affected by puberty, which affects both mobile phone use and the participant's cognitive and  behavioural state.' [Daily Mail].


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