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15/08/2005 - Vienna doctors group say children shouldn't have phones

Data for the cancer risk from mobile phone radiation are increasing - new catalogue of guidelines advises cautious contact with mobile phones.

Wien (OTS) - The Vienna Doctor's Chamber (Wiener ärztekammer) warns expressly against excessive mobile phone use especially by children. The reason for this is the recently presented "Reflex Study" (Reflex-Studie) in which a definite genotoxic effect of mobile phone radiation was proven. The first consequence is that the Doctor's Chamber (ärztekammer) has now drawn up a catalogue of guidelines, which stipulates specific rules of behaviour for use of mobile phones.

NB: Unfortunately, the "MyMo" mobile phone aimed for young children which was removed from the market by the main distributers Communic8, has returned to the market under the brand name "The Owl". The sole target of this phone is 4 to 8 year old children, and with the current research pointing towards the effects mentioned in this article this is immoral behaviour on the part of the new marketing company, Eazytrack.

The Reflex Studie (Reflex Study), which was supported by the EU at a cost of more than two million Euros, was carried out at various important research centres in Europe - including the Wiener AKH. In the course of this study, the so-called mutagenicity of a substance, in this case in by electromagnetic field, was tested. They looked for changes in the genes which are the possible beginning of a cancer disease. One part of the study tests was carried out on human promyelocytes - a preliminary stage of the cells of blood formation. A mutation of such cells can as a further consequence lead to leukaemia and similar illnesses of the blood forming system.

The results from these studies can be summarised in one sentence: There is indeed a genotoxic effect on human cell cultures from mobile phone radiation at a strength that is supplied by every GSM mobile phone.

First studies confirmed

Previous earlier animal experiments already showed a dose-dependant genotoxic effect under high frequency radiation. Further, in the brains of rats increased functionless nerve cells were found after two hours of mobile phone radiation. Two corroborative epidemiological studies showed a three- to four-fold increased risk for auditory nerve cancers after ten years of mobile phone use.

With the now presented "Reflex Study" (Reflex Studie) a cell-biological relationship has been proven for all these results. Eric Huber, Speaker for Environmental Medicine for the Doctor's Chamber for Vienna (Referent für Umweltmedizin der ärztekammer für Wien): "If medications delivered the same test results as mobile phone radiation one would have to immediately remove them from the market".

The Vienna Doctor's Chamber (Wiener ärztekammer) finds it necessary to call upon the population to take more care with use of mobile phone equipment, specially children. Huber: "We must assume that children are more sensitive towards high frequency radiation than adults since the skull bones are thinner and the children's child-like cells show an increased rate of division, in which they are more sensitive to genotoxic effects".

That is why they have decided to follow the example of the British Ministry of Health and the Danish Health Council, and to also warn against excessive mobile phone use, especially by children, in Austria.

The following guidelines for mobile phones should according to Huber, "Expressly not only be valid for children".

  • Children under 16 years should not use mobile phones.
  • Only use mobile phones in emergencies and then only telephone briefly.
  • A mobile phone in the trouser pocket and also the sending of SMS messages under the school desk can influence fertility and should be completely avoided.
  • If sending SMS messages keep the mobile phone away from the body.
  • Turn off the mobile phone at night - if left turned on, do not keep it near the head.
  • Also, headsets are not recommended, since the cable frequently transmits the signal like an antenna.
  • Play no games on the mobile phone.
  • Keep the mobile phone away from the head during the telephone connection.
  • Keep a couple of metres distance away from other people, they are being radiated with you.
  • Less mobile phone telephone calls mean less radiation from mobile phone masts.
  • Internet via cable connections - UMTS and WLAN lead to high radiation exposure.