Sunday, March 9, 2008

Cell Phones And Kids

The average age of new cell phone users is now 10 years old. The age drops every year. Analysts are forecasting that the the market of children nine and under will increase to 9 million users by 2010, representing $1.6 billion in revenue to the cell phone industry.

The "tweener" market, children between eight and 12 years of age, is the next big target market for the cell phone industry. In fact, Disney and Sprint have already teamed up to market cell phones to the eight to 12 year-old category. You've probably already seen the commercials on TV.

How young will these cell phone "targets" become? What is the risk to a population that will grow up with far more exposure to electromagnetic radiation than their parents or grandparents? What is the risk to children whose skull bones are softer and thinner meaning easier penetration of cell phone radiation into the head? How does cell phone radiation affect developing nervous systems and immature immune systems? We don't know the answers to these questions. But we should be asking them.

While the FDA and the United States government look the other way health agencies in other countries are more concerned for their young people. In France, the Minister of Health is urging parents to limit their children's cell phone calls to no more than six minutes. Health ministries in Great Britian and Russia are also advising parents to take precautions. The United Kingdom bans cell phone use in children under eight.

Talking on a mobile phone just 500 minutes a month increases the probability of brain cancer by 300%. Yet teenagers today talk an average of 2600 minutes per month. And 81% of young people between 15 and 20 years of age sleep with their cell phone on.

Are we volunteering our kids to be participants in a giant experiment whose results won't fully be known for many more years?

Whatever happened to the principle of "prove it's safe first BEFORE I use it?" We do this for pharmaceutical drugs (or at least we're supposed to). For some reason, mobile phones have been given a free pass from proving safety first. It seems now the only course of action is to wait until long-term studies prove them harmful. Or until enough children get sick that someone makes the connection. Then precautionary action can be taken. Unfortunately, for many it will be too late. Just ask the tobacco users and those exposed to asbestos.

In the meantime, limit your kids use of ANY kind of wireless technology and take measures to reduce their exposure to the wireless products they do use by using and applying some of the cutting-edge technology and products now available in the marketplace. Some of these products work very well and some don't. So always look for good solid scientific studies and then read them. Due diligence is essential. Contact me if you need some help.

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