16 Jun 2009

France cracksdown on mobile phone use

I am delighted to hear that France has cracked down on children's use of mobile phones - this has been done amid growing fears that they may cause cancer and other diseases.

Photos: from Dept of Health Guidance leaflets

As I've stated on this blog and to local press we simply do not know enough about the damage that such technology is causing to children's health and development. It is time our Government followed the French - a long while back they produced the guidance below about children limiting calls on mobiles but I've never seen even this advice published in the places it needs to be.

This is from Geoffrey Lean's article in The Independent: "The clampdown represents the most comprehensive action yet taken by any government worldwide. It contrasts sharply with the stance of British ministers, who have largely ignored the recommendations of an official report nine years ago that people aged under 16 should be discouraged from using mobiles, and that the industry should be stopped from promoting them to children. Since then their use by the young has almost doubled, so that nine out of 10 of the country's 16-year-olds own a handset.

Swedish research indicates that children and teenagers are five times more likely to get brain cancer if they use the phones, causing some experts to predict an "epidemic" of the disease among today's young people in later life. But consideration of the threat to them has been specifically excluded from Britain's official £3.1m investigation into the risk of cancer from mobiles."

According to researchers in Russia children using handsets are prone to the following disorders: weakening memory, decline of attention, reduction of mental and cognitive capacity, irritation, sleep violation, increasing epileptic possibility. The other possible far-standing consequences are brain, auditory and vestibular nerve tumor (at the age of 25-30), Alzheimer's disease, 'acquired dementia', depressive syndrome and other forms of neuronal degeneration of brain structures (at the age of 50-60).
The Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (RNCNIRP)


Anonymous said...

well, how very scientific.

Can you refer readers to any credible study indicating that the use of mobile phones is a real and serious health risk to anyone, of any age?

Russ said...

the government should start a training program to teach these kids not to smoke their mobile phones.
I blame the drugs.

weggis said...

Well, I can’t Anon. But I do know a bit about how mobile phones work. They use Electro Magnetic Radiation [EMR] of which there is a whole spectrum of the stuff. A little bit of it we know as Light and Heat which we need to sustain our lives. But a little too much or too little and we are in deep shit. The key is dosage. The strength of the signal and its duration. EMR decays at a log rate. Which means that for most applications you don’t have to be that far away for the signal to be very very weak. And in built up areas where mobile cells are small the signal doesn’t have to be very strong to reach the edge of the cell. BUT some mobile cells, eg in the wilderness of Scotland are very large – but there aren‘t many people there I hear you say. That’s not the point. The point is that a mobile phone has to transmit a signal of sufficient strength to reach a mast in the largest cell from the edge of that cell, otherwise it wouldn’t work everywhere and wouldn’t be, well Mobile. That signal from a mobile phone is millimeters away from a rather delicate piece of electro-chemical equipment we know as a brain.

That doesn’t mean it is harmful, of course. But other established applications that have used EMR, Radio, TV, Radar, and now WiFi, are not so up close and personal.

In 50 years time, we will know. Just like we now know about asbestos or any other material that didn't turn out to be dangerous, yet.

Philip Booth said...

French want to ban mobile phones in schools


13th October, 2009
Mobile phones could soon be banned in junior schools in France, under plans put forward by French senators

The French Senate has passed a bill that would ban children under the age of 15 from bringing mobile phones to school.

They have also approved plans to ban mobile phone advertising that targets children younger than 14.

The proposed ban in schools follows after a survey by TNS Sofres which found that out of 500 12-17 year-olds, half use their mobile phones in lessons.

A further 7 per cent of those questioned admitted they had secretly filmed a teacher during a lesson, and over half said they had been caught using their phone in class at least once, even when rules forbade it.

The move is likely to be strongly welcomed by campaign groups including WiredChild that is calling for similar restrictions in the UK.

Both Senate proposals must now be approved by the National Assembly before they can become law.

Philip Booth said...

Latest news from The ECologist: Largest study to date finds increased tumour risk for heavy mobile phone users but says 'biases and errors' make use of these findings impossible - see more: