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15/07/2008 - Toronto Public Health advise children not to use mobile phones

The Toronto Star covered a story on the weekend reporting on the announcement by Toronto Public Health that children should not be using cellphones.

"...children, especially pre-adolescent children, use land lines whenever possible, keeping the use of cellphones for essential purposes only, limiting the length of cellphone calls and using headsets or hands-free options, whenever possible..."
"While scientists were pretty dismissive of any risk years ago, with the accumulation of studies, it appears people who have been using their phones for a long period of time are at greater risk of certain kinds of brain tumours. There is a pattern emerging..."


Loren Vanderlinden, a Toronto Public Health supervisor

Toronto Public Health's advisory follows similar precautionary advice introduced in the UK, Belgium, Germany, France and Russia.

UK health officials publicly discouraged the non-essential use of cellphones by children in the Stewart Report 8 years ago (updated more recently), and have also urged the cellphone industry to refrain from marketing their products to children - a widespread practice in North America where phones' cartoonish images lure youngsters.

Links

Coverage in Toronto Star - Coverage in Toronto Star


Also in the news

ELF EMFs and effects on the blood brain barrier

Researchers from Lund University in Sweden have published a review of the existing science looking at the effects of ELF EMFs on the blood brain barrier. They present the results as being mixed: "The result is a complex picture, where some studies show effects on the blood-brain barrier, whereas others do not. Possible mechanisms for the interactions between electromagnetic fields and the living organisms are discussed. Demonstrated effects on the blood-brain barrier, as well as a series of other effects upon biology, have caused societal anxiety. Continued research is needed to come to an understanding of how these possible effects can be neutralized, or at least reduced. Furthermore, it should be kept in mind that proven effects on biology also should have positive potentials, e.g., for medical use."

This is positive, not only in the understanding that with some studies finding effect and others not the picture is necessarily complicated, but also with the outlook that there may be positive effects from responsible medical use of EMFs as well as the concerns over negative effects.

Coverage in Daily Telegraph - View abstract on Pubmed

Organic pollutants in elevated levels in EHS subjects

Lennart Hardell and colleagues have just published a very interesting pilot study on organic pollutants in subjects with self reported electromagnetic hypersensitivity. They found that the concentration of several of these pollutants were far higher in EHS subjects than in controls (up to a statistically significant 11-fold increase in two of the pollutants).

However, due to the small number of participants (13 EHS subjects and 21 controls) the authors state that the data must be interpreted with caution, and an attempt to replicate it by another university should be carried out.

Coverage in Daily Telegraph - View abstract on Pubmed