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Radiation Research Trust welcomes Chief Medical Officer’s advice on mobile phone use amongst children

The Radiation Research Trust has welcomed advice issued by the Chief Medical Officer for Wales,

Dr Tony Jewell, recommending children minimise their use of mobile phones, and is calling on the British government to publicise its own guidance advising caution for the under 16’s more widely.

Chairman of the Radiation Research Trust, explains; “Government guidance advises children under 16 to minimise their use of mobile phones but the information is not widely publicised, or easy to find. Other countries are making steps to safeguard children against the potential health effects of mobile phones and it is time the British government took these concerns more seriously.

 “In San Francisco a law has recently been passed requiring mobile phone handsets to carry warning labels detailing the level of radiation emitted, and the French government is taking steps to change the law to protect children, which will include banning mobile phones in schools, banning advertising of mobile phones to children under 14 and requiring handsets to be sold with labels indicating the SAR and detailing possible health risks from excessive use.

 “Russian officials have recommended that children under the age of 18 do not use mobile phones at all and Israel, Belgium, Germany and India all discourage the use of mobile phones by Children. In Finland, The Radiation and Nuclear Power Authority urges parents to err on the side of caution. It is time the British Government acted on the concerns that have been raised by countless scientists and neurologists from around the world and called on parents to take a precautionary approach whilst further research is undertaken.”

 The Radiation Research Trust highlights a report published by President Obama’s Cancer Panel in May, 2010 that states “the true burden of environmentally induced cancers has been grossly underestimated….most also are unaware that children are far more vulnerable to environmental toxins and radiation than adults” and strongly urged action to reduce people’s widespread exposure to carcinogens.

The report states: “In the face of uncertainty about RF energy and cell phone-related cancer risks, some researchers, Germany, France, Austria, United Kingdom, Russia, and the European Environment Agency have taken a precautionary stance regarding cell phone use, particularly by children…… Until these questions are answered with some degree of confidence, cell phone users can reduce their exposure to radiofrequency energy by making fewer calls, reducing the length of calls, sending text messages instead of calling, using cell phones only when landline phones are unavailable, using a wired “hands-free” device so that the phone need not be held against the head, and refraining from keeping an active phone clipped to the belt or in a pocket.” Even if cell phones raise the risk of cancer slightly, so many people are exposed that “it could be a large public health burden”. (For the full report: http://deainfo.nci.nih.gov/advisory/pcp/pcp08-09rpt/PCP_Report_08-09_508.pdf

 Brian Stein continues; “We would not let our children take medications that had not first been proven to be safe, yet we allow them to be exposed to levels of radiation which have never been proven to be safe and are in fact potentially unsafe.

 “We may not truly understand the health effects of mobile phones for many years to come, but whilst there is evidence of increasing instances of brain cancer worldwide, and general consensus that children are more vulnerable to radiation from mobile phones than adults, the only sensible thing is to adopt a precautionary approach rather than wait to have the risks confirmed. It is time for the government to take these concerns seriously and provide proper guidance for parents.”

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