lyon france campaing no cell phone use for children under 12The concerns regarding cell phone usage in relation to brain tumors/cancers is an on-going controversy.  But when it comes to cell phone health risks for our children, SAFbaby is leaning on the side of extreme caution for many scientific reasons that we will begin talking about here.

If you google “Cell Phone Health Risks in Children” you get 40,800,000 results.  We are obviously not the only ones concerned that frequent cell phone exposure can lead to severe health effects. So we are happy today to bring you tips on how to greatly reduce your child’s exposure to cell phone radiation.

More and more studies show cell phone use can increase the risk for brain and mouth tumors.   But, because there are not enough studies done on its long term effects (10+ years) nothing is being done by the U.S. government to protect consumers, especially children.

In 1950 a controversial U.S. study came out claiming cigarette smoking could cause lung cancer. Nobody took it seriously for many years to come and the government did nothing because it did not believe smoking cigarettes was the cause.

It makes me wonder if cell phones one day will be responsible for more cancer than cigarettes. Today, 4 billion people worldwide own a cell phone! An astonishing number when just 10 years ago it was rare to see a cell phone.

According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), health agencies in six nations (Switzerland, Germany, Israel, France, United Kingdom, and Finland)  have recommended reducing children’s exposures to cell phone radiation. Better safe than sorry is their approach.  But here in the U.S. we are waiting  until the damage is done.

Cell Phone Ads Banned Targeted For Children

The French Government has taken the most comprehensive action worldwide because of their concerns regarding of the long-term health risks from cell phone exposure.

France banned the advertising of cell phones to children, and the sale of phones designed to be used by children under 6.  Additionally, several cities in France launched major anti cell phone campaigns during the 2008 holiday season (see photo above) urging parents NOT to purchase cell phones for children under 12 years old.

According to EWG, recent studies find significantly higher risks for brain cancer, salivary gland tumors, behavioral problems, migraines and vertigo among people using cell phones for 10 years+.

Young children’s brains absorb twice the cell phone radiation as an adults.  Therefore children should stay away from cell phones and only use them in emergency situations.

Cell Phone Use During Pregnancy

A ongoing study by UCLA and University of Aarhus, Denmark has found that mothers who used their mobile phone while pregnant, and young children who used cell phones themselves, had more behavioral problems at the age of seven than non-cell phone users.  Mothers who used mobile phones were 54 percent more likely to have children with behavioral problems. It is the first study to explore the health effects on fetuses and very young children.

Can Cell Phone Use Be Linked to Autism?

Is it possible that in 10 years from now we will pair the rapid rise of Autism with cell phone radiation?

The cell phone market has exploded over the last 10 years,  so has the Autism rate. We all know that a young child’s brain is more susceptible to damage from radiation than an adults.

Will cell phones have the same warning labels that cigarettes and alcohol have today? “Cell phone use during pregnancy will severely harm your unborn child?”   Will there be a “cell phone prohibited” sign at all work and public places?

These are questions we ponder.  Unfortunately, more studies will be needed in order to have the government step in and protect the  most vulnerable.  Instead of taking the ‘better safe than sorry’ approach, we sadly wait and see.

Which Cell Phones Emit Highest and Lowest Radiation

The Environmental Working Group released a list with more than 1000 cell phones ranking them with highest and lowest radiation.

Find out how your phone is ranked! The lowest ranked Samsung Impression a877 emits 3 times less radiation than the iPhone 3Gs.

3 cell phones with lowest radiation:

– Samsung Impression a877
Motorola RAZR2 V8
– Samsung SGH-t229

3 cell phones with highest radiation:

– T-Mobile myTouch 3G
– Motorola MOTO VU204
– Kyocera Jax S1300

See the entire list of all the phones ranked by radiation on EWG’s website

10 Tips on How to Reduce Cell Phone Radiation:

Here are 10 simple steps you can take to substantially reduce yours or your children’s exposure to cellphone radiation:

  1. Buy a low radiation phone
  2. When on a call, use a wired headset (not a wireless headset such as a Bluetooth), or use in speaker-phone mode, or send text messages.¹
  3. Keep the cellphone away from your body (particularly pants or shirt pockets) or use a belt holster designed to shield the body from cellphone radiation, when not in use (stand-by mode).
  4. Avoid use in a moving car, train, bus, or in rural areas at some distance from a cell tower (AKA mast or base station) as any of these uses will increase the power of the cellphone’s radiation.¹
  5. Use the cellphone like an answering machine. Keep it off until you want to see who has called, then return calls, if necessary.
  6. Texting is better than talking since you don’t hold phone on your ear when you text.
  7. Use a corded land-line phone, whenever possible, instead of a wireless phone.
  8. Avoid use inside of buildings, particularly with steel structures.
  9. Do not allow your children to sleep with a cellphone beneath their pillow or at the bedside.
  10. Do not allow your children under 18 to use a cellphone except in emergencies.
(from Report Cellphones and Brain Tumors 15 Reasons for Concern Science, Spin and the Truth Behind Interphone – August 25, 2009)

I’ve decided to NEVER use my cell phone while holding my 1 month old son and to keep it turned off whenever possible.

ABC News Report on Cell Phone and Brain Cancer

Footnotes:
1. Ahlbom et al. Epidemilogical Evidence on Mobile Phones and Tumor Risk. Epidemiology. Vol. 20,
No. 5, September 2009.