Study: Cell-Phone Radiation Could Impact Kids More Severely

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Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – A new study by the Environmental Health Trust indicates that children are more susceptible to cellphone radiation than their parents.

Testing found children absorbed twice as much radiation in their heads – up to three times as much in parts of the brain – and as much as 10 times more in their bone marrow when compared with adults.

Doctors say there’s no reason to become alarmed about the new findings. Dr. Michael Lax, who is also the medical director at Upstate CNY Occupational Health Clinical Centers, says the information is an important piece of a puzzle that’s still being put together.

“There’s that much that we know and (a lot) that we don’t know about it,” said Dr. Lax. “I think we’re still learning about the affects of this kind of radiation.”

There are two types of radiation. Doctors say ionizing radiation, which is used in X-rays, does increase the risk of cancer. But the verdict is still out on non-ionizing radiation, which is what’s used in cellphones.

“The main concern is that cellphones cause cancer, brain cancer specifically,” Lax said. “There are some studies that signal that that is in fact the case and some studies that say no, it’s not.”

Some studies claim the radiation has a more significant impact on kids and that they should be looked at more closely since they will be the first generation to experience a lifetime with cellphones.

“I think we have to assume it can be an issue and not just say we don’t know yet and don’t worry about it,” Lax said.

ABC Medical Director Dr. Timothy Besser also weighed in Monday. He says there is no link between cellphones and cancer, but if one has concerns there are easy steps to minimize exposure.

For example, you can hold the phone at a distance or use the speaker phone. Doctors say a Bluetooth device is also an option since it emits a much smaller dosage of radiation than a cellphone.

Doctors also say cell users are better off texting than talking because it keeps the radiation at a greater distance from the head.

Opponents of the Environmental Health Trust study say the testing was not extensive enough. They would like to see more research done. This study tested cellphones on mannequins, the size of which only represented a small portion of the population.

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Group Raises New Cell Phone Radiation Concerns

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October 17th, 2011

SALT LAKE CITY — A new report raises concerns about cell phone radiation exposure. It says federal tests to determine exposure to cell phone radiation use models with heads larger than the average person’s or child’s.

The report from Environmental Health Trust says the mannequin skull used to test for cell phone radiation is the size of a 6-foot-2, 220-pound man. Researchers say only 3 percent of people have that size of a skull or larger.

Dr. Devra Davis, one of the report’s authors, said, “Ninety-seven percent of Americans have heads smaller than the one that is used to set standards for cell phone safety.”

Researchers say the Federal Communications Commission determines “maximum allowed exposures” and the agency uses the size of a large man to determine that. As a result, there are special concerns about children.

Scientists say children’s heads are exposed to double the cell phone radiation than adults and 10 times the radiation to their bone marrow.
“We believe that there’s enough evidence we ought to move ahead to take precautionary actions,” Davis said. “That belief is what has guided France and Israel and Finland and a number of other nations today to issue precautionary advice.”

The group is calling for new federal standards for testing. It wants a testing model that’s more in line with several of those European countries — something that takes into account the average size of most people’s heads.

The FCC website explains that testing uses “standardized models of the human head and body that are filled with liquids. They simulate the RF absorption characteristics of different human tissues.” Read more about that here.
According to ABC News, the U.S. government has had no specific comment on the report. The FCC and independent scientists have said in the past there’s no conclusive evidence that cell phone radiation is tied to cancer.

Good Morning America Chief Health and Medical Editor, Dr. Richard Besser, says the measurements for government testing are a separate issue from whether the radiation involved is dangerous.
“When you hear the word ‘radiation’ it’s scary,” he said. “But one thing to realize is there are different kinds of radiation.”
“The radiation from X-rays is something called ionizing radiation. That’s clearly shown to increase your risk of cancer,” he continued. “What you get from cell phones is the same radiation you get from microwave ovens. That’s called non-ionizing radiation and it produces heat. There’s no good evidence that that radiation causes cancer.”

He says although there is no proven link between cell phone radiation and cancer, if people don’t want to take any chances they can do the following:
• Limit the number of minutes you or your children are talking on a cell phone
• Use a hands-free device or speaker phone
• Text instead of talk

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