Disconnect: Cell Phone Radiation & Little Brains – I didn’t want a cell phone. I must have been the last of my friends to succumb, and that was only after having children I knew I would need one if I broke down or got stranded somewhere. I have always been wary of the radiation, so I guess this is my disclaimer – I lean definitely on the cautious side, so take from this what you will.
When a friend let me know about a show he had seen, about cell phones and the unknown affects on kids, backed up by steps that other countries such as Israel and France are taking to prevent children using cell phones, my cellular warmed up ears perked up and I began to do some research.
Many studies have concluded that cell phone usage is safe, however, many of these studies have been conducted by the telephone industry and have not been tested on young children. The FCC guidelines for the use of these devices are pretty outdated, like by 20 years, and rests on outmoded tests using a hypothetical large 220-pound man with an 11-pound head. This model talks on the phone for no more than half an hour at a time. It does not describe reality for a small child, whose thinner skull is far more delicate and penetrable than any adult’s and doubles in size during the first year of life. These babies could be exposed for hours if their mamas are using apps such as “BabySoothe” and “Lullabies”. These apps have also been great for games and other such distractions for young children too. I see a lot of mamas using this as a way to get some peace but I’m not sure after researching if this is a good idea. I would be more inclined to put a leap frog hand-held in their hands instead.
Telecom manufacturers do issue warnings to cover themselves legally, but they are always buried in the fine print that few if anyone ever read. There is no consensus as tests have not been conducted on young children, but there is a very reputable doctor Dr Devra Davis who is trying to shine a very bright non radiation light on the subject. She wrote a book in 2010 “Disconnect: The Truth about Cell Phone Radiation, What the Industry Has Done to Hide it and How to Protect Your Family.” Dr Davis is an epidemiologist and environmental health researcher, a founding director of the toxicology and environmental studies board of the National Academy of Sciences and founder of the Environmental Health Trust.
Cell phones emit radiofrequency energy (radio waves), a form of non-ionizing radiation that is different to ionzing radiation such as X-rays and radon, however, tissues nearest to where the phone is held can absorb this energy. The only known biological effect of radiofrequency energy is heating, which is why it is great for microwaves… However, a recent study showed that when people used a cell phone for 50 minutes, brain tissues on the same side of the head as the phone’s antenna metabolized more glucose than tissues on the opposite side of the brain. The researchers noted that the results are preliminary, and possible health outcomes from this increase in glucose metabolism are still unknown. But, Dr Devra also found evidence of studies, some decades old, showing that the radio-frequency radiation used by cell phones could indeed have biological effects — enough to damage DNA and potentially contribute to brain tumors which have increased in the last 10 years for adults 20-40. She also noted that Sperm exposed to cell phone radiation die three times faster…not good!
The American Cancer Society concludes that the evidence is not strong enough to be considered causal and needs to be investigated further…Yes, please! According to the American Brain Tumor Association brain tumors are the second leading cause of cancer related deaths in children under age 20 (leukemia is the first). And just to note, baby monitors also use the same 2.4GHz frequency as many cell phones. So if you’re going to use one, don’t put it near to your baby’s head but a few feet away, and maybe put the [Wi-Fi] router away from your sleeping area and your baby’s room.
It’s not just babies, also think about yourself. Good information to be aware of is that peak radiation exposure occurs in the moment you first click to answer the phone. That’s when phones should never be held right next to the brain. I also discovered that radiation is actually higher when the signal is bad…which is not good news for those of us living in Haiku where the reception BLOWS…Can you hear me now?
Image Credit: Kana Bayly