January 18, 2008

Experts: Study Children And Cell Phones

On Thursday, the U.S. National Research Council advised that researchers should study more children and pregnant women in an attempt to figure out if cell phones or other wireless devices could cause health problems.

Reuters indicates that a few studies have indicated a possible link between mobile telephone use and brain tumors, while far more show no connection. But since wireless devices have now become omnipresent, researchers wants to ensure that they have no effect on health.

According to Reuters, the Food and Drug Administration asked the National Research Council to recommend some future lines of study. The National Research Council, which advises Congress and the federal government on scientific matters, released a full report of a meeting of experts including engineers and biologists.

Most studies have looked only at short-term effects on healthy adults, the report indicated. Additionally, study needs to be done on multiple, long-term, low-intensity radiofrequency (RF) exposure. Researchers should also analyze the different types of antennas for the amount of RF energy they deliver to different parts of the body

"Measuring the amount of RF energy received by juveniles, children, pregnant women, and fetuses from wireless devices and RF base station antennas could help define exposure ranges for various populations," the council told Reuters in a statement.

"Although it is unknown whether children are more susceptible to RF exposure, they may be at increased risk because of their developing organ and tissue systems," the statement added.

"Additionally, Specific Absorption Rates for children are likely to be higher than for adults, because exposure wavelength is closer to the whole-body resonance frequency for shorter individuals."

According to Reuters, the report also noted that children today will experience a longer period of RF field exposure from mobile phones than adults, as they will most likely start using them at an early age.


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U.S. National Research Council