14/05/2011 - Russians recommend new mobile phone safety warnings for young people
The Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (RNCNIRP) has published a new resolution entitled: "Electromagnetic Fields from Mobile Phones: Health Effect on Children and Teenagers".
Statistical data published by ROSSTAT and UNICEF show that there has been a steady growth in the incidence of childhood diseases identified by RNCNIRP as "possible diseases" arising from mobile phone use. Of particular concern is the morbidity increase among young people aged 15 to 19 years (it is very likely that most of them are mobile phone users for a long period of time).
Since 2009 the number of central nervous system (CNS) disorders among 15 to 17 year-olds has grown by 85%, the number of individuals with epilepsy or epileptic syndrome has grown by 36%, and the number of blood disorders and immune status disorders has grown by 82%.
In the children aged less than 14 years there was a 64% growth in the number of blood disorders and immune status disorders, and 58% growth in nervous disorders.
Because of this the RNCNIRP considers it important and urgent to conduct scientific studies to determine whether the growth in morbidity resulted from EMF exposure from mobile phone use or whether it was caused by other factors.
Taking into account the RNCNIRP position and the precautionary measures suggested by WHO, the Committee considers that the following urgent measures must be taken because of the inability of children to recognise the harm from the mobile phone use and that a mobile phone itself can be considered as an uncontrolled source of harmful exposure.
New RNCNIRP priority measures aimed at the protection of children and teenagers
- It is required that the information that a mobile phone is a source of RF EMF is clearly shown on the phone's body (or any other telecommunication device).
- It is required that the "User's Guide" contains information that a mobile phone (personal wireless communication tool using electromagnetic communication method, etc.) is a source of harmful RF EMF exposure. Usage of a mobile phone by children and adolescents under 18 years old is not recommended by the Sanitary Rule SanPiN 2.1.8/22.214.171.1240-03, and mobile phone use requires implementation of precautionary measures in order to prevent health risks. Mobile phone use by pregnant women is not recommended in order to prevent risk for a fetus.
- The easiest way to reduce RF EMF exposure is to move the mobile phone away from one's head during the phone call which may be achieved by using the hands-free sets (protection by distance). Shortening the call duration is another way to reduce the exposure (protection by time).
- The RNCNIRP considers it is reasonable to develop mobile phones with reduced EMF exposure (with hands-free sets, included limitation functions, such as limitation of the number of daily phone calls, possibility of forced limitation of phone call duration, etc.).
- It is required to include courses on mobile phones use and issues concerning EMF exposure in the educational program in schools.
- It is reasonable to set limits on mobile telecommunications use by children and adolescents, including ban on all types of advertisement of mobile telecommunications for children (teenagers) and with their participation.
- The RNCNIRP is ready to assist the mass-media in their awareness-raising work and educational activities in the area of EMF and, in particular, to provide information about the newest research of the impact of EMF on human health and the measures to curb the negative impact of this physical agent.
- Better safety criteria for children and teenagers are required in the nearest term. Features of the developing organism should be taken into account, as well as the significance of bioelectric processes for human life and activities, present and future conditions of EMF, prospects of technological and technical development should be addressed in a document of legal status.
- Development of a funded national program for studying possible health effects from chronic EMF exposure of the developing brain is necessary.
» Download PDF version (125kB) of the full RNCNIRP Resolution.
» Read our news story about MobileWise, a new UK charity that has been set up to promote safer mobile phone use by young people.
This information was brought to our notice by the International EMF Alliance.
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