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Long-term use of a smartphone can have an influence on a teen’s memory

The research suggests that long-term exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) created by mobile phones can have a deleterious impact on teenage figural memory formation. Figural memory is located in the right hemisphere of the brain, and it has been linked to RF-EMF in adolescents who use mobile phones on the right side of their heads.

“This could indicate that the observed connections are caused by RF-EMF absorbed by the brain,” stated Martin Roosli, Head of Environmental Exposures and Health at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) in Switzerland.

When utilising headphones or a loud speaker while calling, potential hazards to the brain can be reduced, especially when network quality is poor and the mobile phone is operating at maximum power. Importantly, sending text messages, playing games, or browsing the internet exposed the brain to only a small amount of RF-EMF, which was not linked to memory formation.

However, according to Roosli, it is yet unclear how RF-EMF might alter brain processes or how relevant the findings are in the long run.

Excessive smartphone use in teens has been linked to a “small” but significant increase in new attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in previous research (ADHD). They were more likely to report symptoms including difficulties organising and completing work, as well as trouble remaining still, the more they used social media, streaming video, text messaging, music downloads, or online chats.

Another study found that long-term use of cellphones and computers may raise the risk of depression and suicidal behaviour in teenagers, especially girls.

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