Amit Lubovsky
Amit Lubovsky

August 2, 2012

For toddlers to teens, pediatricians agree: It's time for a cell phone radiation review

As has been wildly reported, the FCC chairman called for a reexamination of cell phone emissions standards, which haven't been touched since 1996.

Now the largest group of pediatricians in the United States, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have joined the call, supporting a long-overdue inquiry into whether the standards set nearly 20 years ago - before the proliferation of smartphones - should be updated.

The big issue, according to AAP President Dr. Robert Block, is that the last set of standards were set for adult cell phone use, not children. "Children, however, are not little adults and are disproportionately impacted by all environmental exposures, including cell phone radiation. In fact, according to [the International Agency for Research on Cancer], when used by children, the average RF energy deposition is two times higher in the brain and 10 times higher in the bone marrow of the skull, compared with mobile phone use by adults," Block said.

And until there's more concrete information, the AAP recommends letting kids do what they already love: texting, which entails holding the phone further from the head and body.

In addition, Dr. Block offered more reasons to keep smartphones further away from toddlers to teens: "The Academy has found potentially negative effects and no known positive effects of media use by children under the age of 2, including television, computers, cell phones and other handheld wireless devices. In addition, studies consistently show that older children and adolescents utilize media at incredibly high rates, which potentially contributes to obesity and other health and developmental risks. In reviewing the SAR limit, the FCC has the opportunity to improve the health of our nation by highlighting the importance of limiting screen time and media use for children and adolescents."

Again, we at tawkon stress the precautionary principle when it comes to how to handle cell phone use until more conclusive studies are done. And if your trendy teen is resistent to the usual headset selection, maybe they'd go for the headset adored by celebrities!

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