Registre National des Cancers de l’Enfant

MOBI-EXPO MOBI-EXPO : Quantification of mobile phone exposure.
Investigators Martine Hours, Unité Epidémiologie et Surveillance Transport Travail Environnement (UMRESTTE) UMR T9405 - Lyon - for the French part
Study period 2012-2014
Objectives The main objective of the MOBI-EXPO international study is to characterize the use of mobile phones in young people and to validate the data on mobile phone use that are collected by questionnaire.

Global Health Institute Barcelona (IS Global), Barcelona (E. Cardis),

Utrecht University (Netherlands),

Laboratoire de recherche en télécommunications (Whist Lab, France),

Institut français des sciences et technologies (IFSTARR, France),

Association pour la Recherche Epidémiologique dans les Cancers de l’Enfant et l’Adolescent (ARECEA),

Registre National des Tumeurs Solides de l’Enfant (RNTSE, B. Lacour), CHRU Nancy et INSERM UMRS 1153- team EPICEA
Funding Agence Nationale de Sécurité sanitaire de l’alimentation, de l’Environnement et du Travail
Statutory approvals CNIL DR-2010-303, DR-2012-490, avenant 1622882

MOBI-EXPO study involves researchers from 12 countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Korea, New Zealand, and Spain. Are included in each country 90 volunteers aged 10 and 24 years, who  use a mobile phone at least once a week.

Participants are selected within three age groups: 10-14, 15-19, and 20-24 years.

In France, they are selected in the same geographic areas as the cases and controls included in the MOBI-KIDS study: Alsace, Lorraine, Ile-de-France Petite-Couronne, Rhône-Isère, Hérault, Bouches-du-Rhône, and Gironde.

A special application was fitted on the volunteers’ personal phone, or on a rental mobile phone if the personal phone device was not compatible. It allowed to compare the mobile phone use estimated by the volunteer, collected by questionnaire, with its actual use recorded by the application (number and length of phone calls, laterality, number of sent texts etc.). The questionnaire answers were also compared to the records provided by the network operators, after the approval of the participants.


534 volunteers participated in the study and completed the questionnaire six months after the use of the application, including 65 people in France.

The number and duration of calls was higher for girls than for boys, for those aged 20-24, and for the most deprived participants. These is great inaccuracy in the self-estimation of these indicators, with important variations between countries. Overall, participants tended to overestimate their total duration of use, and to underestimate their number of calls. Laterality and use of hands-free kits are also estimated with substantial imprecision.


Goedhart G, Vrijheid M, Wiart J, Hours M, Kromhout H, Cardis E, Eastman Langer C, de Llobet Viladoms P, Massardier-Pilonchery A, Vermeulen R. Using software-modified smartphones to validate self-reported mobile phone use in young people: A pilot study. Bioelectromagnetics. 2015 Oct;36(7):538-43

Langer C, de Llobet P, Dalmau A, Wiart J, Goedhart G, Hours M, Benke G, Bouka E, Bruchim R, Choi KH, Eng A, Ha M, Karalexi M, Kiyohara  K, Kojimahara  N, Krewski D, Kromhout H, Lacour B, Mannetje A, Maule M, Migliore E, Mohipp C, Momoli F, Petridou E, Radon K, Remen T, Sadetzki S, Sim M, Weinmann T, Vermeulen R, Cardis E, Vrijheid M. Patterns of cellular phone use among young people in 12 countries: Implications for RF exposure. Environ Int, 2017, 107 : 65-74

Goedhart G, van Wel L, Langer CE, et al. Recall of mobile phone usage and laterality in young people: the multinational Mobi-Expo study. 2018 Aug;165:150-157.


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