The MOBI-Kids study protocol: Challenges in assessing childhood and adolescent exposure to electromagnetic fields from wireless telecommunication technologies and possible association with brain tumor risk

Siegal Sadetzki*, Chelsea Eastman Langer, Revital Bruchim, Michael Kundi, Franco Merletti, Roel Vermeulen, Hans Kromhout, Lee Ae-Kyoung, Myron Maslanyj, Malcolm R. Sim, Masao Taki, Joe Wiart, Bruce Armstrong, Elizabeth Milne, Geza Benke, Rosa Schattner, Hans Peter Hutter, Adelheid Woehrer, Daniel Krewski, Charmaine MohippFranco Momoli, Paul Ritvo, John Spinelli, Brigitte Lacour, Dominique Delmas, Thomas Remen, Katja Radon, Tobias Weinmann, Swaantje Klostermann, Sabine Heinrich, Eleni Petridou, Evdoxia Bouka, Paraskevi Panagopoulou, Rajesh Dikshit, Rajini Nagrani, Hadas Even-Nir, Angela Chetrit, Milena Maule, Enrica Migliore, Graziella Filippini, Lucia Miligi, Stefano Mattioli, Naohito Yamaguchi, Noriko Kojimahara, Mina Ha, Kyung Hwa Choi, Andrea t. Mannetje, Amanda Eng, Alistair Woodward, Gema Carretero, Juan Alguacil, Nuria Aragones, Maria Morales Suare-Varela, Geertje Goedhart, A. Antoinette Y.N. Schouten-van Meeteren, A. Ardine M.J. Reedijk, Elisabeth Cardis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations

Abstract

The rapid increase in mobile phone use in young people has generated concern about pos- sible health effects of exposure to radiofrequency (RF) and extremely low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic fields (EMF). MOBI-Kids, a multinational case-control study, investigates the potential effects of childhood and adolescent exposure to EMF from mobile communi- cations technologies on brain tumor risk in 14 countries. The study, which aims to include approximately 1,000 brain tumor cases aged 10-24 years and two individually matched controls for each case, follows a common protocol and builds upon the methodological experience of the INTERPHONE study. The design and conduct of a study on EMF expo- sure and brain tumor risk in young people in a large number of countries is complex and poses methodological challenges.This manuscript discusses the design of MOBI-Kids and describes the challenges and approaches chosen to address them, including: (1) the choice of controls operated for suspected appendicitis, to reduce potential selection bias related to lowresponse rates among population controls; (2) investigating a young study population spanning a relatively wide age range; (3) conducting a large, multinational epidemiologi- cal study, while adhering to increasingly stricter ethics requirements; (4) investigating a rare and potentially fatal disease; and (5) assessing exposure to EMF from communication technologies. Our experience in thus far developing and implementing the study protocol indicates that MOBI-Kids is feasible and will generate results that will contribute to the understanding of potential brain tumor risks associated with use of mobile phones and other wireless communications technologies among young people.

Original languageEnglish
Article number124
JournalFrontiers in Public Health
Volume2
Issue numberSEP
DOIs
StatePublished - 23 Sep 2014

Funding

FundersFunder number
Andalusian Consejeria de SaludPI-0317/2010
Australian National Health and Medical Research Council546130
Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association
Cure Kids New Zealand
ELKE
FP7/2007226873
French National Agency for Sanitary Safety of Food, Environment and Labour
French National Cancer Institute
GGET
MICCIN
MOBI-Kids
Ministry of Science
Spanish Health Research FundFIS PI10/02981
CNIB
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Health Research Council of New Zealand
ZonMw85800001
ZonMw
Generalitat Valenciana025/2010
Generalitat Valenciana
General Secretariat for Research and Technology
Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning
ODAS Stichting
Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación
Seventh Framework Programme
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz
Board of Research in Nuclear Sciences
Agence Nationale de Sécurité Sanitaire de l’Alimentation, de l’Environnement et du TravailFSRF 2008-3
Agence Nationale de Sécurité Sanitaire de l’Alimentation, de l’Environnement et du Travail
Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications
Conselleria de Sanitat Universal i Salut Pública

    Keywords

    • Adolescents
    • Braintumors
    • Children
    • ELF-EMF
    • Mobilephones
    • RF-EMF

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