Protecting Your Children From Cell Phone Radiation
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Kids and cell phones. They seem to be inseparable these days. But is that a good thing? In recent years, you may have heard rumors about them causing brain cancer and other diseases. Is this claim based on any research? Is handing your child a cell phone equivalent to handing her a cigarette? Or is this some bogus claim made up to try to scare us away from beneficial technology?
Dr. Devra Davis, author of Disconnect: The Truth About Cell Phone Radiation, What the Industry Has Done to Hide It, and How to Protect Your Family, is one of the major scientific figures who is trying to spread the word about the dangers of cell phone use. Is she a scam artist? Actually, Davis is the winner of a 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, former presidential appointee under Clinton, former professor of epidemiology at several respected universities, and a National Book Award Finalist. And she believes that cell phones can kill.
“Cell phones are essentially two-way microwave radios,” Davis explains. “They have never been tested for safety. They have been assumed to have no biological effect, but now we are finding that that’s just not true. They may be much weaker in power than regular microwaves, but because they utilize a pulsed signal, they can weaken the brain-blood barrier, produce free radicals, and cause other harmful health issues.”
When you first look at the information we have on cell phone use, you may think that the research is inconclusive. After all, some studies find that cell phone radiation is at a safe level, whereas others find that it can cause health problems. Davis, however, stresses the difference between these two types of studies.
Many of the studies that have “proven” the safety of cell phone have focused solely on brain cancer. “Brain cancer is the wrong thing to focus on at this point, because it can take forty years to develop,” Davis explains. “We know that because when the bombs dropped at the end of World War II, there was no increase in brain cancer until forty years later. But whether or not brain cancer is a concern, cell phone radiation has been proven to cause a host of other biological effects.”
What are some of these effects?
- Studies have shown that cell phone radiation can reduce sperm count in healthy adult males.
- Animals that have been exposed to cell phone radiation prenatally have been born with a higher percentage of behavioral problems and learning disabilities. Studies done in Turkey and Greece have shown that these animals have an increased risk of liver and brain damage as well.
- Cell phone radiation has been shown, in long term studies, to cause cancer in various areas of the body, specifically based on where the cell phone was held while powered on. For example, women who have carried their cell phones in their bras have been diagnosed with breast cancer in the middle of their chests. In May of 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared cell phone radiation as a “harmful human carcinogen”—putting it in the same category as lead, DDT, and engine exhaust. “Would you give your child DDT, or lead, or a car engine to play with?” challenges Davis. “Then why do we give them cell phones?”
- Russian studies have shown increased behavioral and learning problems in children whose mothers used cell phones during their pregnancies.
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