Moves to ban mobile phones in schools
Due to the possible health risks, the French Senate has proposed a bill to ban pupils from using mobile phones in primary schools and middle schools.
by Rune H. Rasmussen
France’s Secretary of State for Ecology, Chantal Jouanno, wants to apply the "principle of precaution" in the absence of guarantees that the electromagnetic radiation emitted by mobile phones is safe for young children. The proposed bill will be debated by the National Assembly shortly after the New Year, and the Senate expects the bill to be approved. If this happens, France will be the first European country to ban mobile phones due to health risks.
May cause cancer
Several recent international studies indicate that regular use of cell phones could damage children's brains, and may cause cancer and other diseases. Experts in this area, among them professor Om P. Gandhi, the leader of the University of Utah's electrical engineering department, has established that radio-frequency signals reach much more deeply into children's thinner and smaller heads. The brain of a child doubles in the first two years of life and keeps on developing until their early 20s.
Gandhi worries that the mobile phone emission standards today applies to the brain of an adult, and is supported by several prominent experts on the area. Alarming new research from Sweden on the effects of radiation suggests that children and teenagers are five times more likely to get brain cancer if they use mobile phones. Devra Davis, Ph.D. and award winning scientist and author, has been influential in raising public attention to health risks associated with mobile phones. She has participated in a worldwide series of meetings on the subject, from Brazil to Norway, and according to her “it is completely irresponsible to allow children to be exposed to electromagnetic radiation without certain knowledge of the long term consequences”. She claims that precautionary measures, such as those proposed in France, needs to be introduced throughout the world.
Greater awareness needed
Oystein Samnoen, Director of Kids and Media, stresses the need for increased awareness regarding the use of mobile phones, especially among children.
“There is a great deal of uncertainty connected to the long-term effects of electromagnetic radiation. Still an increasing number of children and teenagers are using mobile phones. We want to support the principle of precaution, and contribute to create greater awareness. So far the risks connected to radiation have been insufficiently reflected upon, and it is my opinion that both industry and public actors need to put this subject on the agenda,” says Samnoen.
Advice to reduce exposure to radiation
• Use hands-free kits.
• Keep the phone away from your body while talking.
• Make sure you have good coverage while making calls.
• Send text messages rather than making calls.
• Limit the number of calls and make calls as short as possible.
Mobile phone use 'raises children's risk of brain cancer fivefold'
The Huffington Post
Cell Phones: Damaging The Brains Of Children?
Mobile phones: the health advice given in other counties
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