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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Many Nations Banning or Limiting Cell Phone Use by Children

While nations around the world are either banning or limiting cell phone use by children, and some by those under the age of 12 years-old, Health Canada has remained mum on the subject.

France is nearing the point where it will make it illegal to market cell phones to children.

Russian officials have recommended that children under the age of 18 years not use cell phones at all.

Similarly, the United Kingdom, Israel, Belgium, Germany and India have discouraged use of cell phones by children.

In Finland, the Radiation and Nuclear Power Authority has urged parents to err on the side of caution, because despite there being no definitive research indicating health risks related to the use of cell phones, there is also no definitive research indicating the absence of health risks from cell phone use. The truth is, cell phone use, and especially its wide use among children, is a relatively new phenomenon which has not yet enabled study of possible long term effects.

CBC-TV conducted a survey of 1,000 children in Canada; the results indicated that almost half of the children in the 9-13 year-old range have cell phones.

An epidemiologist, Professor Devra Davis, at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute has been quoted as stating, "Because the latency between exposure and brain cancer could be 20 or 30 years...we are basically treating ourselves like lab rats in an experiment without any controls" (CBCNews.ca. 2009, January 22).

The fact is, children's brains are less dense--more porous--than adult brains. Radio frequency signals penetrate a child's brain more deeply than they do an adult's brain. Scans have confirmed that the low-level radiation emitted by cell phones penetrate the brain of a 5-year-old child more than halfway through.

Source: CBCnews.ca (2009, January 22). "Health Canada has little to say about cellphone risks for kids".

Note from Ben Kim: Another reason for keeping cell phones away from children is that the bones that make up their skulls are thinner than those of adults. Consequently, children have less protection against deep penetration of radio frequency signals into their brains.

Here are a few additional thoughts on minimizing exposure to radio frequency signals:

  1. The greatest exposure to radiation from a cell phone occurs within about half a foot of the emitting antenna, so be sure to keep your cell phone at least six inches away from all of your body parts whenever it's turned on.

  2. When you must use a cell phone, try to use it where reception is strong; weak reception requires that your phone emits more radiation, which leads to stronger radio waves that can affect your deeper tissues.

  3. Use a headset or at the very least, the speaker phone function when you must use your cell phone.

  4. When you're not using your cell phone, keep it turned off. Cell phones that are not in use but left on emit radiation on an intermittent basis.

  5. Minimize use of all other wireless devices, including cordless phones at home and at work. If you must use a wireless/cordless phone, choose an older version that operates at 900 MHz - though such phones still emit harmful waves when in use, they don't broadcast nonstop like higher frequency phones (2.4 GHz, 5.8 GHz, etc.).

If you're interested in getting a simple device - called a Gauss meter - that you can use to detect EMF activity around cell phones, cordless home phones, and other wireless devices, have a look at the Cell Sensor EMF Detector - it's relatively inexpensive, and it's what I use to look for "hot spots and devices" in our home and office from time to time.

Holding a Cell Sensor EMF Detector up against a cell phone and having it give off a strong and steady beep is a good way to help children and skeptical adults become more aware of the presence of electromagnetic fields.


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