Back to School at
Home > Kids > Childhood Development > Social and Emotional Development > Social Skills > Cell Phones and Brain Tumors: A Valid Concern?

Cell Phones and Brain Tumors: A Valid Concern?

According to the American Counsel on Science and Health (ACSH), there's no doubt that the media has played the biggest role in the brain tumor scare that has been circulating the news outlets. Back in September 2004, a small Swedish study conducted at the Karolinska Institute found that the risk of developing acoustic neuroma was double in cell phone users, and four times as likely to occur on the side of the head that the cell phone was used on. Media outlets immediately picked up the story, and soon headlines were announcing that cell phones were linked to brain tumors. What these media outlets failed to do was include key aspects of the research that had been conducted.

Q: At what age do you think it's appropriate to allow children to bring cell phones to school?

As soon as they can dial.

Age 8-11

Age 12-15

Age 16 or older

Cell phones are unnecessary for kids.

View Results

As the ACSH points out, the researchers who conducted the 2004 study don't consider their findings to be completely accurate for a number of reasons. The study was small (only 750 participants were evaluated), and has not been replicated. Scientists generally do not consider research results reliable until they have been demonstrated several times. Also, this specific study examined only analog phones, which emit much more radiation than the digital phones used in today's market. The study's researchers were quick to say that the results are not a reason for panic; they're simply cause to research this topic further. Media outlets may have caused unnecessary fear by publishing exaggerated headlines warning the public about the "link" between cell phones and brain tumors.


August 28, 2014

Variety is the spice of life! Swap out boring sandwiches for simple and healthy alternatives, like crackers and cheese, veggie or fruit kebabs, pasta salad, or breakfast for lunch (such as yogurt and granola, or whole wheat waffles).

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

get ready for school!

We’ve got your
shopping list,
lunch menu,
and more.



Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit to sign our petition to save handwriting!

11 Coolest Lunch Boxes for Kids
Send your child's lunch to school in style! Check out our picks for the 11 best lunch boxes with great features from BPA-free accessories to spill-resistant fabric.

7 Important Back-to-School Safety Tips
Follow these back-to-school safety tips to make sure your child stays safe on the way to school, in the classroom, and while on the playground.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!