Cell Phones for Kids: What’s the Risk?

Cell Phone Radiation, EMF exposure

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Cell phone and cancer

If something doesn’t cause cancer, there is no way to actually prove that,” said John E. Moulder, director of radiation biology at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. “The strongest thing you can say about something in cancer is, ‘We looked and we didn’t find anything.'”

Cell phone hawkers have their crosshairs on kids as a target market for their wares, but should parents resist purchasing mobiles for their children?

Wireless carriers have begun pushing their “family” plans to provide some economic ammunition for kids pleading with mom and dad for a mobile. And outfits like Firefly Mobile are designing products to push cell phone use down the age bracket to children as young as 8 years old.

While some people — many of them in the education field — see the metastasizing of mobiles within the junior set as a menace to decorum, others see serious cell phone and cancer health threats looming from the practice.

Cell Phone Cancer? Cause for Concern

Cell phone and cancer? Citing a caution issued in January by the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB) in the United Kingdom, Henry Lai, a research professor at the department of bioengineering at the University of Washington, told TechNewsWorld that parents should be concerned that cell phones may be harmful to young children.

“Not very much research has been done on children or young animals [which can serve as models for children], but the results from other studies seem to indicate that there is a cause for concern,” he said.

In its caution, the NRPB warned, “It is not possible at present to say that exposure to RF radiation, even at levels below national guidelines, is totally without potential adverse health effects.”

The board also cited the findings in a report released in May 2000 by the Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones that “children might be more vulnerable to any effects arising from the use of mobile phones because of their developing nervous system, the greater absorption of energy in the tissues of the head and the longer lifetime of exposure.”
Nevertheless, Lai, an authority on the biological effects of non-ionizing radiation, conceded that “we don’t know yet how the body responds to cell phone radiation.”

When it was released, the NRPB document elicited a strong response from the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States.

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