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October 19, 2011
Children Absorb Up To Ten Times More Radiation From Cellphones Than Adults


A scholarly article on cell phone safety to be published online Oct. 17 in the journal Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine reports the finding that cell phones used in the shirt or pants pocket exceed the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) exposure guidelines and that children absorb twice as much microwave radiation from phones as do adults.

The paper notes that the industry-designed process for evaluating microwave radiation from phones results in children absorbing twice the cellphone radiation to their heads, up to triple in their brain's hippocampus and hypothalamus, greater absorption in their eyes, and as much as 10 times more in their bone marrow when compared to adults.

The WHO has previously advised ‘pragmatic’ measures to reduce exposure, such as using hands-free kits and texting instead of calling. Dr Christopher Wild, director of the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, said: ‘Given the potential consequences for public health, it is important that additional research be conducted into the long-term, heavy use of mobile phones.

Researchers have speculated for more than 10 years that the electromagnetic radiation emitted from cell phones may damage DNA and cause benign brain tumors, said Henry Lai, a bioengineering professor at the University of Washington.

Earlier research on pregnant mothers who use mobile phones has shown they are likely to give birth to kids with behavioural problems, especially if those children start using mobile phones early themselves.

The current paper's authors include three team members at Environmental Health Trust: Devra Davis, PhD, MPH, Founder and President; L. Lloyd Morgan, Senior Science Fellow; and Ronald B. Herberman, MD, Chairman of the Board.

The existing process is based on a large man whose 40 brain tissues are assumed to be exactly the same. A far better system relies on anatomically based models of people of various ages, including pregnant women, that can determine the absorbed radiation in all tissue types, and can account for the increased absorption in children. It allows for cell phones to be certified with the most vulnerable users in mind -- children -- consistent with the "As Low As Reasonably Achievable" (ALARA) approach taken in setting standards for using radiological devices.

In the United States, the FCC determines maximum allowed exposures. Many countries, especially European Union members, use the "guidelines" of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), a non-governmental agency.


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