OK, here we are again, the controversy continues. Why is it the US insists on harming our future leaders, our children? Read and comment below…
By Sean Poulter
Last updated at 9:02 AM on 01st September 2009
Plans to give the green light for children to use mobile phones despite cancer fears have angered health campaigners.
The draft of a new advisory leaflet for parents by the Department of Health removes safety advice to impose strict limits on youngsters’ use of the handsets.
It goes on to suggest that heating to the head caused by using a mobile is no more harmful than a hot bath.
However campaigners insist there is good evidence that using mobile phones increases the risk of brain tumours in both children and adults.
One study published in March said children with mobiles are five times more likely than others to develop such a cancer in later life.
The current official advice from the Department of Health says that mobile phone use affects brain activity and admits to ‘significant gaps’ in scientific knowledge about the health effects.
It highlights the fact that the head and nervous system are still developing into the teenage years with the result that children and young people ‘might be more vulnerable’ than adults.
Consequently, it warns parents: ‘The widespread use of mobile phones by children (under the age of 16) should be discouraged for non-essential calls.’
However, the draft of the new safety leaflet seen by the Daily Mail, removes all this safety advice and makes clear that no extra precautions need to be taken by children. It says: ‘There is currently no scientific or biological evidence that radio waves cause cancer.’
The change in the advice is expected to lead to a marketing blitz aimed at children by mobile phone manufacturers.
Alasdair Philips, of the Powerwatch organisation opposed relaxing the safeguards, saying: ‘A number of international studies have found a significant increase in brain tumours among people who have used a cellphone for more than ten years.
‘It’s incredible that the notion there is no good reason to restrict children’s use of mobile phones could be the official Government line. This would be completely irresponsible and immoral.
‘Parents are under pressure to buy mobiles for their children at younger and younger ages. By doing this they may well be giving them brain tumours in 30 years’ time.
‘The Government seems to be more interested in tax revenue from mobile phone calls – which is about £15billion per year now – than in the protection of public health.
‘Children under 11 should not use a mobile, full stop. Older children should be encouraged to text only and hold their handset away from their body when they do so.’
In March, an international group of scientists reported that people who begin using mobile phones before the age of 20 are more than five times as likely to develop a malignant brain tumour.
Co-author of the report, Dr David Carpenter, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany, said: ‘What stands out is the consistency of the association of exposure and disease.
‘I see us facing a major problem in the future because of the fact that young children are on cell phones constantly, and we may be setting ourselves up for an epidemic of brain cancer, the same thing we did with cigarette smoking and lung cancer.’
A new report, ‘Cellphones and Brain Tumours’ was published on both sides of the Atlantic earlier this week by scientists and campaigners.
Lead author Lloyd Morgan said: ‘Exposure to cellphone radiation is the largest human health experiment ever undertaken, without informed consent, and has some four billion participants enrolled.
‘Science has shown increased risk of brain tumours from use of cellphones, as well as increased risk of eye cancer, salivary gland tumours, testicular cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and leukemia. The public must be informed.’