29/07/2005 - Mike Repacholi recommends children use Hands Free Kits
Mike Repacholi, Director of the WHO International EMF Project, has stated that "With respect to children, WHO recommends that children should use hands-free headsets". If true, this would be a big change in attitude, and hopefully it will lead to a more open-minded approach to setting precautionary guidelines with regards to mobile phone use.
- Microwave News Journal, entries on 5th, 11th and 12th July.
At a time where Disney and Hasbro are looking at mobile phones specifically marketed at young children, this is a welcome announcement. WHO still deny any definitive risk, but for Mike Repacholi to have made this "Freudian Slip" he cannot believe beyond doubt that there could be no adverse reaction to RF exposure from mobile phones, otherwise this statement would never have come to pass.
The problem is where to go from here. In many ways Peter Barnes (Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association) hits the nail on the head when he says "It is a decision for them [the children] and the parents to make together". Whilst the demand for instant communication on the move is still high, the money continues to line the pockets of the telecommunication executives. Until our attitudes towards phones change this means that the pressure on governments and supposedly independent organisations to do all they can to maintain our phone networks will remain equally high.
Eventually, it seems the evidence of danger will become so strong that it will be irrefutable, but this may just end up following a similar path to cigarettes: People know they are harmful, yet will still continue using them, in this case purely for the sake of convenience. The phone companies continue to bring in the money, and will likely have to do no more than attach a "Using your phone may damage your health" label, to cover associated deaths. At the end of the day, the buck always stops with the consumer. Whilst we buy and use phones, the phones will remain and our children will be at risk.