Keep Electronics Away from Children

By Linda Mason Hunter

  March, 2017

     For quite some time I've been worried about the safety of cell phones, iPads, and other electronic devices, especially in the hands of children. Scientific research proves that, though we may not fully understand exactly how and why radio frequency waves affect human bodies and health, we know that they do. The real issue is the long-term cellular damage that apparently affects every person who is exposed, for as long as they remain exposed. The developing brains of children are more sensitive to these effects than adults, so you can't say the effects would be equal for a small adult as for a child.

     Conflicting evidence provides conflicting advice on the subject of cell phone safety. Though the National Cancer Institute affirms cell phones emit such low levels of radio frequency waves it’s not a problem, the World Health Organization disagrees. In May 2011 the WHO classified cell phones (and other wireless devices) as a category 28 risk (meaning they are a possible carcinogen) based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer associated with wireless phone use. In 2013 scientists working for IARC (the International Agency for Research on Cancer) recommended that, based on new research, radio frequency exposure should be reclassified as a 2A (probable carcinogen), not a 28 (possible carcinogen). Since then a number of additional studies have been reported. One of the most important was a large case-control study in France which found a doubling of risk of glioma, the most malignant form of brain cancer, after two years of exposure to cell phones. After five years exposure the risk was five-fold. For those living in urban environments the risk was even higher.

     Glioma is the brain cancer that killed Ted Kennedy and is killing John McCain.

 That’s reason enough for me. Keep cell phones out of the hands of children. Follow the advice of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Society of Pediatrics, which state that infants aged 0-2 years should not have any exposure to technology, children 3 to 5 years old should be restricted to one hour per day, and ages 6 to 18 years restricted to 2 hours per day.

    As for yourself, use caution. Reserve the use of cell phones for shorter conversations or for times when a landline is not available. Use a hands-free device, which reduces the amount of radio frequency energy exposure to the head. Switch ears from time to time.