Healthy Kids: AAP urges caution following cell phone radiation study
EUGENE, Ore. - For years, people have wondered if too much time spent on cell phones could be dangerous to our health. Recently, the National Toxicology Program, which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), released partial findings from a two-year study that exposed rats to the types of radio frequency radiation that cell phones give off. Now, the American Academy of Pediatrics is hoping parents will listen closely to the findings—and take precautions.
Dr. Pilar Bradshaw, with Eugene Pediatric Associates, treats hundreds of kids each year in her practice. She’s troubled by the recent study that found a dangerous connection between cell phone radiation and cancer.
“The cancers that we’re talking about have shown to be very malignant, very dangerous, very hard to treat cancers in lab rats that were exposed to cell phone radiation similar to what we’re exposed to if we are using our phone while it’s placed against our ear,” Bradshaw explained.
In response to the study, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a statement urging parents to take precautions and curb their children’s cell phone use.
“Don’t encourage your children to talk on the phone. If possible, have them only use it for short, emergency calls. During a phone call, hold it away from your head, not on your ear,” Bradshaw explained.
In addition to using your phone’s speaker function or a Bluetooth device, avoid carrying your phone against the body like in a pocket, sock or bra. Cell phone manufacturers can't guarantee that the amount of radiation you're absorbing will be at a safe level.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says parents should not panic over the latest research, but instead, should use it as a good reminder to limit the time you and your kids spend on your phones.
It is important to note that this study was only done on rats. While rats can be good test subjects for medical research, they are not the same as humans and it’s not yet known if the same results would occur in people—more study is needed. In the meantime, get additional tips on how to limit your exposure to cell phone radiation here.