Cell phones used to be luxuries, like 8-track car stereos. Now they’re everyday essentials, like toothbrushes.
Especially for kids. An estimated 71 percent of American tweens and teens own cell phones, and more than half use the device daily, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project.
Is that much electronics-aided talking safe?
We at Environmental Working Group aren’t so sure. And we’re troubled, not only by what the science is showing but by the federal government’s failure to consider regulatory action to raise the margin of safety for constant cell phoners.
As Olga Naidenko, Ph.D., EWG Senior Scientist and report author, put it:
“We would like to be able to say that cell phones are safe, but we can’t. The most recent science, while not conclusive, raises serious issues about the cancer risk of cell phone use that must be addressed through further research. In the meantime, consumers can take steps to reduce exposure.”
Current U.S. cell phone radiation standards, set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and based largely on 1992 cell phone industry recommendations, are outdated and allow 20 times more radiation to penetrate the head than the rest of the body.
Are US cell phone radiation standards too lax?
Scientists don’t know. But if they are, kids bear the greatest risks. Their softer, thinner skulls are less able to shield the brain from radiation. Scientists have found that their brains absorb twice as much cell phone radiation as those of adults
Because the feds aren’t getting it done, EWG has provided consumers with the information they need about cell phone radiation to make informed decisions about purchasing cell phones with lower emissions.
On September 14th, Naidenko testified before the Senate Appropriations Health subcommittee about the EWG report. Here she talks with EWG’s Chief of Staff, Heather White, just before her testimony (you can watch the full hearing here):
Other countries are more advanced
Health agencies in six nations — Switzerland, Germany, Israel, France, the United Kingdom and Finland — have issued warnings to limit cell phone use, particularly by children.
We can change this
Join us to ask the FCC to upgrade its standards to take account of the newest scientific evidence and also increasing cell phone use by children. Help us send the FCC a strong message that it’s time to update its standards. They should: