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Cellphones And Your Child's Health

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Getting your child a cellphone for safety’s sake? Consider this: Absorption of microwaves in the cellphone frequency range is greatest in an object about the size of a child’s head. Also, the thinner skulls of children allow greater penetration. If your kids wear metal-rimmed glasses, the metal frames increase absorption by acting as a second antenna, circulating the radiation one inch from the brain, instead of radiating it off into outer space. In a recent study by Spanish scientists, it was shown that children using cellphones for as little as two minutes had their brain’s natural electrical activity altered for up to an hour afterward. What long-term effects this will have on a child’s developing nervous system, brain wave activity and immune system is unknown. The concern is that this electromagnetic radiation will interfere with delicate chemical balances in the brain, perhaps leading to psychiatric and behavioural problems or impaired learning abilities. In the largest independent study to date conducted by the United Kingdom’s Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones, lead scientist Sir William Stewart recommended against cellphone use by those under 16, except for emergencies. A recent survey in the UK showed that 80 per cent of 11- to 16-year-olds use cellphones and 70 percent said that they wouldn’t restrict their use even if the government told them to do so. It should be noted that most phones emit radiation levels below international safety standards. This is because the standards are based on the premise that only radiation levels that heat your body by 1°C within six minutes can cause harm. This is like saying that if a cigarette doesn’t burn you, then it can’t harm you. There is no long-term exposure consideration. But unlike tobacco, cellphones carry no health warnings. There are incredible financial implications involved in this important health issue. This is one of the largest industries in the world; a lack of "conclusive proof" of harm means big profits to industry, and also to our government through licensing fees. Precaution is called for, but industry and government aren’t listening. As a parent, are you? (Reprinted from Health Action Network Society newsletter, Winter 2001/2002; hans.org)

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