Cell Phone Radiation Protection – Should You Be Worried About Your Kids?
The Problem: Most working moms and dads use technology to facilitate daily communication. Kids have cell phones at younger ages.
Over 250 million Americans talk on their cell phones daily. It is something we take for granted. We presume that they’re safe or they wouldn’t be so widely sold.
Let’s take a deeper look at this presumption.
When you use your cell phone or cordless phone, you are using an instrument that emits low levels of radio-frequency radiation. These emissions have been long the subject of heated debates in science and health communities.
Last year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG), health advocate, published research linking long-term or frequent cell phone use to increased rates of miscarriage, nausea, chronic fatigue, forgetfulness, migraines, behavior problems in children and brain tumors.
This parade of horribles is scary. How worried should we be about our kids?
The phone industry and the federal government counters that cell phones are safe and that research fails to show a connection between radio-exposure from cell usage and health problems.
Many researchers opine that the studies are ‘inconclusive’ because cell phones have not been in use long enough to make a determination that stands up to scientific standards.
Recall the tobacco industry? We didn’t know the dangers of nicotine until too late.
Electronics that emit radio frequency are everywhere: cordless phones, microwaves, computers, and more.
The Facts: Specific Absorption Rate or SAR, is the ruler for measuring the quantity of radio frequency absorbed by the body. To pass FCC standards and qualify for sale in the U.S. and Canada, SAR levels can not exceed 1.6 watts per kilogram. The European standard is higher: 2 watts per kilogram.
That the European standard is more relaxed is curious. A French study concluded that children, whose skulls are thinner, absorb radiation at a rate two times that of adults.
The EPA recommended the EMFs be classified as Class B carcinogens back in 1990. Class B includes DDT and PCBs. Lobbyists from the computer and utility industries protested vigorously and, as a result, EMFs are still unclassified.
Current Solutions: Here’s what some experts suggest:
Use a speakerphone whenever possible instead of placing the phone receiver next to your ear.
Do not have an active cell phone near bedside overnight.
Bluetooth headsets and other headsets are not complete solutions: radio frequencies follow wires to ears.
Texting is better than calling.
Know SAR ratings of a phone before purchasing. For example, the Apple iPhone 4 (16 GB) is rated 1.17 whereas the Apple iPhone 3GS (16GB) is.79.
There are various ant-EMF products available. None have FTC or World Health Organization (WHO) approval. The simplest one is a reusable sticker that is placed over the phone’s battery or antenna and claims to reduce about 70 % of emissions.
Given present concerns about cell phone radiation, parental caution is appropriate.