Dangers of Cellphone and Tablet Use

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There is increasing evidence and concern about the dangers of cellphone and tablet use. There is no way we are going to stop, but we need to know how to use them safely and what’s safe for our children.

Research in France, Israel, Finland and Japan has consistently shown that cellphone radiation has biological effects. It can damage sperm, it can damage brain cells and it may even cause tumors. Because of this, the World Health Organization and many governments are now issuing precautionary advice on their use, especially their use for children.

Studies from Yale University, Turkey and Greece show that lab animals exposed prenatally to cellphone radiation have damage to their brains. The chief of OB-GYN at Yale University, Dr. Hugh Taylor, advises pregnant women to keep cellphones and tablets away from their abdomens.

Understand that mobile phones, tablets, laptops and other wireless devices are sending and receiving microwave radiation (RF-EMR) unless they are set on airplane mode or disconnected from the internet or Wi-Fi systems. Cellphones carried in one’s pocket or against the body significantly increases one’s exposure to this radiation.

A report from the Cleveland Clinic in 2008 showed that men who used their cellphones the most had the lowest sperm count and the poorest sperm quality. The data suggests that carrying a cell phone in a pocket in talk-mode, leads to this deterioration.

Israel, one of the highest users of cellphones in the world, has had a great increase in parotid gland tumors with 1 out of 5 occurring in people under 20 years old. The parotid gland is located right in front of the ear where cellphones are held. The Israeli Dental Association has issued a warning that young people should limit their exposure of the head to microwave radiation from cellphones.

There are also a few documented cases of breast cancer tumors developing in women as young as 21, in the exact locations where they carried their cellphones against their bodies in their bras. Dr. Lisa Bailey, a breast cancer surgeon and former President of the American Cancer Society of California, recommends that no young women carry their cellphones next to their body.

The message is: find a way to keep these devices away from our bodies. One or more inches may be enough, but more studies need to be done. In addition to this, one of the greatest concerns is that radiation from wireless devices, including toys, and over use of digital media, may have a profound effect on our children.

The safety standards for the amount of radiation that these devices can safely emit were set 17 years ago. The exposure standards were set according to what is safe for a 220 pound man. This is in no way adequate for todays’ use.

The tissues which are affected the most by this type of radiation are those that are still growing and developing. This would include the developing brains of our children, the developing breasts of our adolescent girls, and sperm cells.

2013 data from Dr. L. Hardell of Sweden, a physician epidemiologist, confirms a greater brain cancer risk for those starting to use cellphones as adolescents. The risk is 4 to 8 fold within 10 years according to his data.

And now for the real downside…all this emerging evidence is still considered inconclusive in the world of science! The FCC states on their website: “currently no scientific evidence established a causal link between wireless device use and cancer or other illnesses.” I say just because we don’t have the definitive absolute proof of a link yet, does not mean there isn’t one. But thankfully, the FCC does go on to say that: “Those evaluating the potential risks of using wireless devices agree that more and longer-term studies should explore whether there is a better basis for radio-frequency safety standards than is currently used.”

Here are the precautions for use of wireless devices issued by the World Health Organization and many other countries:

  • Use speaker phone
  • Use ear pieces (but not wireless ones)
  • Do not keep phones on body/in pocket (if you must, have them on airplane mode.)
  • Avoid use in areas of weak signals
  • Protect abdomens of pregnant women, adolescents and men wishing to become fathers

So, now if the damage from radiation to our children’s brains, etc. was not enough to worry about, now there are also concerns about the proper development of the brain with too much screen time.South Korea, one of the most digitally connected nations in the world, is reporting a surge of cases of “digital dementia” among young people. “Over-use of smartphones and game devices hampers the balanced development of the brain,” according to Dr. Byun Gi-won at the Balance Brain Center in Seoul. This disorder is characterized by deterioration of cognitive abilities, including memory deficits, inability to concentrate and emotional flattening.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is now recommending restrictions of use for electronic and digital devices for children. Many people are not even aware of this. Several studies have linked high media consumption with poor health outcomes so their recommendations are the following:

  • Children under the age of 2 years old should have Zero to limited screen time.
  • Children above the age of 2 should limit screen time for entertainment to less than two hours a day.
  • Children should not have TVs or internet access in their bedrooms.

So here is the question. Are you willing to gamble the health of our children waiting for definitive proof of the dangers of cellphone radiation and too much screen time? I’m not!! Let’s take these precautions seriously and act now. If you think this information is important, please send this Health Tip to your friends and family. The fate of the younger generation may depend on it. Thank You.

*Most of this information came from a lecture from Dr. Devra Davis at The Real Truth About Health Conference held in New York City in January 2014. For additional information visit the Environmental Health Trust website, www.ehtrust.org.

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