Cell Phones Raise Children’s Risk of Brain Cancer

Alarming new research indicates that children and teenagers are five times more likely to get brain cancer if they use cell phones. The study is raising fears that today’s young people may suffer an epidemic of the disease in later life.

The Swedish research was reported this month at the first international conference on cell phones and health. It came from a further analysis of data from one of the biggest studies carried out on the cell phone/cancer link, headed by Professor Lennart Hardell. Professor Hardell told the conference that “people who started mobile phone use before the age of 20” had more than five-fold increase in glioma, a cancer of the glial cells that support the central nervous system.

The risk to young people from household cordless phones was almost as great. Cordless phones caused a fourfold increase in risk.

Young cell phone users were also five times more likely to get acoustic neuromas, disabling tumors of the auditory nerve that often cause deafness.
EMF & Health: A Global Issue September 8-9, 2008, The Royal Society, London
The Independent September 21, 2008

Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

It doesn’t get much clearer than this. If you allow your children to use a cell phone they could very well end up with brain cancer in 10 or 20 years. Is the inconvenience of protecting yourself from a mobile phone with a headset or speaker phone really worth a five times increased risk of this deadly disease?

Apparently many people think so (or more likely are not aware that the risk exists) as in Britain at least nine out of 10 16-year-olds — and 40 percent of primary schoolchildren — have their own cell phone.

Well, I have been warning of the dangers of cell phones for nearly a decade now, and the evidence just keeps pouring in.

In 2005, the British-based National Radiological Protection Board suggested children younger than age 8 should not be given a cell phone as it risks exposing their young bodies to harmful radiation.

According to a University of Washington scientist: 70 percent to 80 percent of the energy emitted from the antenna of a mobile phone is absorbed in your head. This expert was particularly concerned about kids using mobiles because their younger skulls are thinner and their growing brains much more susceptible to radiation exposure.

Last year, a scientific review of 11 studies found that using your cell phone for 10 years or longer will double your risk of getting a tumor on a nerve connecting your ear to your brain. And earlier this year Toronto’s department of public health warned that because of possible side effects from radio frequency radiation, children under 8 should only use a cell phone in emergencies, and teenagers should limit calls to less than 10 minutes.

The U.K., Belgium, Germany, France and Russia have also introduced precautionary policies regarding cell phone usage due to potential health risks.

We are already on the verge of a cell-phone-induced brain cancer epidemic. If lots of people don’t start heeding these warnings, it could grow to 500,000 cases worldwide as soon as 2010, and there may be over a million cases in the United States alone by 2015.

Are You Aware of How Serious This Problem Really Is?

Many health agencies in the United States are continuing to tout their “wait-and-see” approach to cell phone safety — but not all of them. Dr. Ronald B. Herberman, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, issued an unprecedented warning to his faculty and staff: Limit cell phone use because of the possible risk of cancer.

“Really at the heart of my concern is that we shouldn’t wait for a definitive study to come out, but err on the side of being safe rather than sorry later,” Herberman said.

What prompted Dr. Herberman to make this warning?

An analysis of early unpublished data, some of which shows just how much higher the electromagnetic radiation absorption rates are in a 5- and 10-year-old’s brain versus that of an adult. Electromagnetic radiation, the data shows, can penetrate almost straight through the entire brain of a 5-year-old child!

So please do not wait for stricter cell phone regulations to be put into place. IF that happens down the road, it may already be too late for your child. Aside from the occasional brave scientist or physician who dares to speak up about the reality of cell phone and wireless dangers, no one is “out there” protecting you from these dangers. So it’s very important that you take the steps to protect yourself and your children.

If you want to avoid the temptation to use your cell phone, you could simply get rid of it entirely. But if you aren’t ready to go that far, you can still minimize your exposure and reduce your risks by following these cautionary guidelines:

• Children Should Never Use Cell Phones: Barring a life-threatening emergency, children should not use a cell phone, or a wireless device of any type. Children are far more vulnerable to cell phone radiation than adults because of their thinner skull bones. IF a child is going to use a cell phone, they need to at least use the speaker phone function or a safe headset, and keep the phone as far away from their body as possible.

• Pregnant Women Should Also Avoid Cell Phones: Women who use mobile phones when pregnant may be more likely to give birth to children with behavioral problems.

• Reduce Your Cell Phone Use: Turn your cell phone off more often. Reserve it for emergencies or important matters.

• Use A Land Line At Home And At Work: Although more and more people are switching to using cell phones as their exclusive phone contact, it is a dangerous trend and you can choose to opt out of the madness.

• Reduce or Eliminate Your Use of Other Wireless Devices: You would be wise to cut down your use of these devices. Just as with cell phones, it is important to ask yourself whether or not you really need to use them every single time. If you must use a portable home phone, use the older kind that operates at 900 MHz. They are no safer during calls, but at least they do not broadcast constantly even when no call is being made.

• Use Your Cell Phone Only Where Reception is Good: The weaker the reception, the more power your phone must use to transmit, and the more power it uses, the more radiation it emits, and the deeper the dangerous radio waves penetrate into your body. Ideally, you should only use your phone with full bars and good reception.

• Turn Your Cell Phone Off When Not in Use: As long as your cell phone is on, it emits radiation intermittently, even when you are not actually making a call. Put your phone in airplane mode when not in use

• Keep Your Cell Phone Away From Your Body When it is On: The most dangerous place to be, in terms of radiation exposure, is within about six inches of the emitting antenna. You do not want any part of your body within that area.

• Use the Speaker Phone function or Safer Headset Technology: Wired headsets will certainly allow you to keep the cell phone farther away from your body. However, if a wired headset is not well-shielded — and most of them are not — the wire itself acts as an antenna attracting ambient information carrying radio waves and transmitting radiation directly to your brain. Make sure that the wire used to transmit the signal to your ear is shielded.

The best kind of headset to use is a combination shielded wire and air-tube headset. These operate like a stethoscope, transmitting the information to your head as an actual sound wave; although there are wires that still must be shielded, there is no wire that goes all the way up to your head.