Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Mobile Cooking: Believe the Research, Not the Hoax

I am sure you received one of these e-mails before, or watched a YouTube video where cell phones are used to pop corn kernels or cook an egg. Well, technically it cannot be done, I haven't tried. Let us turn to more reliable data of the latest research on cell phones. For anyone on Mamapedia wondering if cell phones are alright for kids, look into the 2008 Swedish study by Professor Lennart Hardell. If you are not aware, many countries already warn their inhabitants on cell phone use. Not the United States of course, unfortunately we are known as a country where profits are above public health, whichever way you measure it.

This recent Swedish study is one of the most convincing on cell phone dangers to children. Professor Lennart Hardell of the University Hospital in Orebro, Sweden tells that:
"People who started mobile phone use before the age of 20 had more than five-fold increase in glioma."
Almost as great, at more than four times higher, is the extra risk to young people of contracting the disease from using the cordless phone found in many homes. The UK Independent featured an article on this issue in September 2008.

According to the May 27th, 2009 Times article, mobile phones will be banned in French primary schools and operators will have to provide handsets that only allow text messaging. While carriers insist there is no evidence that should lead to such measures, studies have been done. Moreover, even if those studies would show little harm from cell phones - no study has ever proven conclusively that cell phones are harmless when used over a prolonged period of time. Smoking was labeled as harmless until the 1940s. Will this be a similar time bomb waiting to explode? We'll just have to wait and see how many children using cell phones will develop brain tumors in 10-20 years. Cancer is already projected to be the leading cause of death worldwide by 2010. Among children, leukemia is second only to accidents. While there are many contributing factors to this drastic rise, nobody can rule out wireless technology as one of them.

Regardless of what the industry thinks, how long will it take for the world to find out the extent of the damage to our health caused by cell phones? How long will the industry continue to hide and avoid independent studies on the issue? Is your child's health really worth the convenience of having them constantly 'on the line'?

If you think "nah, my kids only talk for a few minutes a day," think again. That is in addition to constant wifi exposure, cell phone towers and transmitters in your neighborhoods, near or in their schools, cordless phones at home, and being surrounded by myriads of people who all have cell phones. So before you get that cell phone for your seven year old, consider the facts. Be wise, limit your cell phone use and never talk on the phone for a prolonged period of time. Maybe that old fashioned corded phone is good for something after all!

Photo credit: Sanja Gjenero


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