MOBI KIDS Study on Cell Phones, Children and Cancer Cannot Provide Safety Assurances
Published Analysis by Dr. Hardell and Dr. Moskowitz
A critical analysis of the MOBI-Kids study of wireless phone use in childhood and adolescence and brain tumor risk by Dr. Lennart Hardell and Dr. Joel Moskowitz
This paper analyzes the MOBI-Kids case-control study on wireless phone use and brain tumor risk in childhood and adolescence which concluded overall no increased risk was found. Hardell asserts that the results are simply not biologically plausible, pointing out that most odds ratios were suggestive of a preventive effect, indicating that the study was flawed due to methodological problems. To start, the study had substantially lower participation rates for controls (54%) than cases (72%) that likely biased brain tumor risk estimates downward.
Importantly, one of the important criticisms was that the MOBIKID researchers excluded analysis of midline and infratentorial brain tumors and instead focused on tumors located next to where the phone was held to the skull. Hardell and Moskowitz pointed out how first the RF is substantially higher deeper into a child’s brain and more importantly, even lower RF levels could adversely impact a child’s more sensitive brain. “Animal studies have shown that there are windows where less radiation intensity is more harmful than more intensive levels; thus, one cannot conclude that less exposed parts of the brain are not at risk.”
Furthermore the analysis highlights how several MOBI KIDS authors had conflicts of interest during study design and data collection yet, the initial version of the latest MOBI-Kids paper declared no competing interests. This oversight was partially corrected later by citing “competing interests” for only some of them, despite their documented conflicts. France Telecom was from the start part of the MOBI-Kids consortium.
Notably one of the researchers Joe Wiart, employed from1997 to 2015 by Orange/France Telecom a was referred to as the basis for the MOBI KIDS exclusion of tumors originating in the middle of the brain.