Surge in 'digital dementia'
The Telegraph, 24 June 2013
Doctors in South Korea are reporting a surge in "digital dementia" among young people who have become so reliant on electronic devices that they can no longer remember everyday details like their phone numbers.
South Korea is one of the most digitally connected nations in the world and the problem of internet addiction among both adults and children was recognised as far back as the late 1990s.
That is now developing into the early onset of digital dementia – a term coined in South Korea – meaning a deterioration in cognitive abilities that is more commonly seen in people who have suffered a head injury or psychiatric illness.
"Over-use of smartphones and game devices hampers the balanced development of the brain," Byun Gi-won, a doctor at the Balance Brain Centre in Seoul, told the JoongAng Daily newspaper.
"Heavy users are likely to develop the left side of their brains, leaving the right side untapped or underdeveloped," he said.
The right side of the brain is linked with concentration and its failure to develop will affect attention and memory span, which could in as many as 15 per cent of cases lead to the early onset of dementia.
'Casualty catastrophe': cell phones and child brains
RT Television, 20 October 2013
Insurers stop covering for cell phone use, called the next 'casualty catastrophe' after tobacco and asbestos; phone manufacturers hit with a class action and personal lawsuits; and the warning deep inside your mobile.
Seek truth from facts with Ellie Marks, whose husband Alan is suing the industry for his brain tumor, 'cell phone survivor' Bret Bocook, leading radiation biologist Prof. Dariusz Leszczynski, Microwave News editor Dr. Louis Slesin, Storyleak editor Anthony Gucciardi, and former senior White House adviser Dr. Devra Davis.
LTE Cell Phone Radiation Affects Brain Activity in Cell Phone Users
PRLog (Press Release), 23 September 2013
The first study on the short-term effects of Long Term Evolution (LTE), the fourth generation cell phone technology, has been published online in the peer-reviewed journal, Clinical Neurophysiology. (1)
In a controlled experiment, researchers exposed the right ear of 18 participants to LTE cellphone radiation for 30 minutes. The source of the radiation was 1 centimeter from the ear, and the absorbed amount of radiation in the brain was well within international (ICNIRP) cell phone legal limits. The researchers employed a double-blind, crossover, randomized and counter-balanced design to eliminate any possible study biases.
The resting state brain activity of each participant was measured by magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) at two times -- after exposure to LTE microwave radiation, and after a sham exposure.
The results demonstrated that LTE exposure affected brain neural activity not only in the closer brain region but also in the remote region, including the left hemisphere of the brain. The study helps explain the underlying neural mechanism for the remote effects of microwave radiation in the brain.
Are we ignoring the dangers of mobile phones?
The Telegraph, 30 May 2013
To some scientists, they’re deadlier than cigarettes; to others they’re harmless. Will we ever know the truth about mobile phones? Julia Llewellyn Smith finds out.
In 1996, Neil Whitfield, a sales manager from Wigan, was given his first mobile phone by his company. “It was introduced as a nice, cuddly friend. It had all of your mates’ contact details on it. It was always in your pocket or pressed against your ear,” he says.
However, within a short space of time Whitfield, a father of six who was then in his late thirties, started suffering terrible headaches. “Then my hearing deteriorated and I kept forgetting things, which was not like me.” A scan revealed he had an acoustic neuroma – a rare brain tumour that grows on a nerve in the brain near the ear. Without surgery, he was told, he had five years to live.
“The specialist asked if I used a mobile a lot. When I said yes, he replied: ‘Mobiles will be the smoking gun of the 21st century.’ He sowed a seed in my mind.” Whitfield, now 56, is one of a growing and vociferous group of people who are convinced that mobile phones are killing us. A phone, they point out, along with cordless phones and Wi-Fi, works in the same way as a miniature microwave, emitting electromagnetic radiation.
Admittedly, this radiation is at too low a frequency to heat human tissue, but there’s a large amount of evidence that it could affect the protective barrier between the brain and blood, allowing toxins to enter. There is also evidence that mobiles could be damaging our immune systems, reducing sperm motility and causing tumours, Alzheimer’s, strokes and autism.
It’s not just individuals like Whitfield who believe this, but a number of eminent scientists and physicians. Two years ago, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an agency of the World Health Organisation, published a report, reclassifying radiation from mobiles from category 3, with “no conclusive evidence” of causing cancer, to category 2b – a “possible human carcinogen” – along with diesel exhaust, chloroform, jet fuel, lead and DDT.
Settlement proposal would drop San Francisco’s bid to label cellphone dangers
The San Francisco Examiner, 16 April 2013
Although it’s far from clear whether cellphones cause cancer, a first-of-its-kind San Francisco law requiring phone merchants to disclose mobile devices’ possible health risks has caused The City no shortage of headaches.
The 2½ years of legal wrangling over the Cell Phone Right to Know Act would end under a proposed settlement that would see the law overturned but also would not stick taxpayers with the attorney fees of cellphone industry lobbyists, believed to be in the six figures, according to court documents.
The law was introduced by then-Mayor Gavin Newsom and approved by the Board of Supervisors in 2010. It required disclosure of the radiation emitted by cellphones — the specific absorption rate, or SAR — and provided customers with a Department of the Environment-created fact sheet along with each newly purchased device.
The fact sheets warned phone users to keep devices away from the brain and reproductive organs, and advocated for headset use. Posters detailing the potential health risks would have been prominently displayed in stores, and warning stickers would accompany phones.
The law was scheduled to go into effect in October 2011, but almost immediately after its passage, a cellphone industry group called CTIA-The Wireless Association sued.
Israeli scientists find possible link between cellphone use, thyroid cancer
Haaretz, 6 March 2013
Findings are 'first evidence of changes in thyroid cells in response to electromagnetic radiation' says researcher, 'but drawing sweeping conclusions ... is still far off.'
Israeli scientists have reported preliminary findings of a possible link between the radiation from cellphones and thyroid cancer. There has been a steep rise in rates of thyroid cancer in recent years in Western countries.
Parents urged to limit children's use of mobiles, cordless phone under new health warnings
Perth Now, 3 March 2013
PARENTS should limit kids' use of mobile and cordless phones, Australia's radiation watchdog recommends in new health advice.
The Federal Government's Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) also suggests that baby monitors be kept a metre away from cots, to minimise any electromagnetic emissions.
"Due to the lack of scientific evidence on mobile and cordless phone use by children, ARPANSA recommends that parents encourage their children to limit their exposure,'' the agency states in its first "fact sheet'' for consumers to reduce exposure from wireless devices including mobile phones.
Israeli cell phone company to compensate customer who contracted cancer
Haaretz, 3 March 2013
Partner Communications, which operates in Israel under the name Orange, will pay NIS 400,000 to a customer who contracted cancer in his ear.
Partner Communications, which operates in Israel under the Orange brand name, has reached a settlement with a customer who claims he contracted cancer after using one of their devices.
Belgacom informs its customers about the electromagnetic waves of mobile phones, and promotes responsible use
Belgacom Group, 28 February 2013
As part of its CSR commitment, the Belgacom Group aims to provide transparent communication to its customers. For this reason, since 2008 already Belgacom has been indicating the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) value of the mobile phones in its shops and on its website. In addition, Belgacom offers its customers tips on its website regarding the safe use of mobile phones, along with an e-learning course on electromagnetic radiation.
Following recent statements in the press, there is growing concern among customers about the effects on health of electromagnetic waves and fields emitted by mobile phones. The Belgacom Group anticipated this concern by taking the initiative to indicate the SAR value and thus provide clear information to customers when they purchase a new mobile phone. All mobile phones sold by Belgacom meet EU guidelines and the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO).
MOBILE PHONES BANNED FOR SALE TO CHILDREN IN BELGIUM UNDER AGE OF SEVEN
Mobile phones to be banned for children
The Belgian government has announced measures to restrict the use of mobile phones by young children.
Public Health minister Laurette Onkelinx has announced that sales of mobile phones to children under 7 years will be banned in shops and also on the internet.
Adverts for mobile phones during children's programmes on TV radio and the internet will also be banned.
Research shows than in Belgium every two out of three children under 10 years have a mobile phone. At 12 years they nearly all have one.
The minister has highlighted the radiation risk from cell phones which is higher for young children than adults.
Cellphone exposure limits should be reassessed, GAO recommends
The Washington Post, 8 July 2012
Mobile phone exposure limits and testing requirements should be reassessed, according to a Government Accountability Office study released Tuesday.
The study, the culmination of a year-long review done at the urging of lawmakers, comes at a time of heightened concern about the possible impact of cellphone radiation on human health. Its findings may prompt the Federal Communications Commission to update its standards to more accurately reflect how people use their cellphones.
While the report did not suggest that cellphone use causes cancer, the agency did say that FCC’s current energy exposure limit for mobile phones, established in 1996, “may not reflect the latest evidence on the the effects” of cellphones. The study recommends that the FCC reassess two things: the current exposure limit and the way it tests exposure.
Is your mobile killing you? Why using your phone could make you ill
The Sun, 3 May 2012
IT’S good to talk – or is it?
Scientists have called for urgent research into links between mobile phones and cancer after it was revealed there has been a 50 per cent increase in brain tumours since 1999.
At the Children With Cancer conference in London, Professor Denis Henshaw, of Bristol University, said: “Vast numbers of people are using mobiles and they could be a health timebomb, not just for brain tumours but also infertility.
"We should be openly discussing the evidence but it is not happening.”
The World Health Organisation advise pragmatic ways to reduce exposure to radiation such as using hands-free kits and texting instead of making calls.
The biggest experiment of our species': With five billion mobile users in the world, conference calls for research into potential brain cancer risks
Daily Mail, 24 April 2012
A scientific conference starting in London today will urge governments across the world to support independent research into the possibility that using mobile phones encourages the growth of head cancers.
The Children with Cancer conference will highlight figures just published by the Office of National Statistics, which show a 50 per cent increase in frontal and temporal lobe tumours between 1999 and 2009.
The ONS figures show that the incident rate has risen from two to three per 100,000 people since 1999, while figures from Bordeaux Segalen University show a one to two per cent annual increase in brain cancers in children.
Scientists and academics have long argued over the suggestion that radiation from mobile phones causes cancers. Those who believe there is a link say that - with five billion mobile phones being used worldwide - urgent research must be carried out to establish the risk.
But not everyone agrees. While governments, phone companies, and health agencies give precautionary advice about minimising mobile phone use, the Health Protection Agency is likely to conclude in a report due on Thursday that the only established risk when using a mobile is crashing a car due to being distracted by a call or text.
A close call: Why the jury is still out on mobile phones
The Independent, 24 April 2012
Is a rise in brain tumours linked to the radiation sources we hold so close to our heads? Experts can’t agree on the answer.
Allegations of lobbying, bad science, not enough science, conflicts of interest, political inertia, scaremongering and lawsuits: the debate surrounding the safety of mobile phones has it all. With more than 5 billion users worldwide, mobile phones have undoubtedly become central to modern life in just two decades, but could they be a health hazard?
Scientists at the Children with Cancer conference in London this week will advocate that governments adopt the ‘precautionary principle’ – advising phone users to take simple steps to protect themselves and their children from potential, not proven, long term health risks of electromagnetic fields - especially head cancers.
They will call for urgent research into new Office of National Statistics figures that suggest a 50 per cent increase in frontal and temporal lobe tumours – the areas of the brain most susceptible to the electromagnetic radiation emitted by mobile phones – between 1999 and 2009.
Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion and Green Party leader, will next week table an Early Day Motion calling for mandatory safety information at the point of sale, and for widely publicized advice, for young people in particular, to text, use headsets or corded landlines for long calls.
IS YOUR CHILD’S MOBILE GIVING THEM CANCER?
The Sunday Express,22 April 2012
IF you are a parent of the one in three under-10s who now owns a phone, you’ll be aware of the current Department of Health advice: “Children should only use mobile phones for essential purposes and keep all calls short.” If you have not read this advice, possibly because it is tucked away on an obscure website, you might now be wondering how long your child can safely use their phone before their brain turns to mushy peas.
The Government’s view is that parents should take responsibility for whether or not their children have phones in the first place.
Despite the warning about restricting child usage a Department of Health (DoH) spokesman says there is no evidence that mobiles cause tumours but then adds that the scientific evidence is always under review. So what is the scientific evidence?
Next week the charity Children With Cancer is holding a conference in London and one of the subjects it will debate is “brain tumours, mobile phones and childhood cancer”, chaired by Geoffrey Pilkington.
A professor of cellular and molecular neuro-oncology for four decades, he believes that parents should adopt precautions: “If there is any possibility that mobiles can cause tumours, it would suggest children are more vulnerable because their brain cells are still dividing. Anyone who has children wants them to be exposed to risk as little as possible. Therefore until we know more about all possible risks, not only from radiation, parents might want to think carefully about giving children a phone.”
Mobile phones could damage unborn babies, researchers claim
The Telegraph, 21 March 2012
Radiation from mobile phones may affect the brain development of unborn babies, the lead author of a controversial animal study has claimed.
Pregnant mice placed in the vicinity of an active mobile phone gave birth to offspring which showed signs of hyperactivity, anxiety and poor memory.
Infant mice whose mothers were not exposed to the radiation were not affected the same way.
The changes were attributed to impaired development of neurons in the prefrontal cortex of the brain.
According to the US scientist who led the research, the same effects could potentially occur in humans.
Professor Hugh Taylor, from Yale University, believes mobile phones might even be partly responsible for rising rates of behavioural disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Cell Phone Report Calls for More Responsible Management to Protect Children and Pregnant Women
PRWEB, 1 February 2012
Environment and Human Health, Inc. (EHHI) today released a new report calling for tougher standards to regulate cellular technologies—especially for children and pregnant women.
Environment and Human Health, Inc. (EHHI) is releasing a new report calling for tougher standards to regulate cellular technologies—especially for children and pregnant women. This report is the first part of a project researching the health effects of cell phone use. EHHI has reviewed hundreds of peer-reviewed studies that have examined the potential health threats associated with cellular device use, along with the regulatory standards that have been adopted by the U.S. and other nations. This report provides the context for the second section of the project: an animal study designed to investigate the health effects on offspring of cell phone exposures during pregnancy.
John Wargo, Ph.D., professor of Environmental Risk and Policy at Yale University and lead author of the report, said, “The scientific evidence is sufficiently robust showing that cellular devices pose significant health risks to children and pregnant women. The weight of the evidence supports stronger precautionary regulation by the federal government. The cellular industry should take immediate steps to reduce emission of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) from phones and avoid marketing their products to children.”
India spells out the truth on mobile phone radiation levels
The Telegraph, 20 January 2012
An official inquiry 12 years ago recommended that the widely varying levels of radiation given off by mobile phones should be displayed when they were sold. Successive governments have failed to implement this recommendation. But now India may be beating us to it.
New guidelines laid down by the country’s official Telecom Engineering Centre suggest that the levels should be shown on each handset. And this week, the Delhi government moved to ensure that they are prominently displayed.
It’s scarcely a radical suggestion. The British committee was chaired by Sir William Stewart, a former government chief scientist, and contained several of the experts who have been most sceptical about radiation dangers from handsets. Since its report, the evidence that mobile phones can cause cancer after long-term use has strengthened. Last summer the World Health Organisation classified them as a “possible carcinogen”.
The mobile-phone industry has long vigorously fought such an apparently reasonable step – which may be one reason why our pliant governments have neglected to take it – and has already declared its opposition to the Indian plans. When San Francisco proposed a similar measure some years ago, the industry both called in the lawyers and announced that it would stop holding its lucrative annual exhibition, bringing some 68,000 people to the city. What, one wonders, does it have to hide?
Mobile alert: Government sets alarm bell ringing on phone hazards as all handsets in Delhi to come with radiation emission tags
Delhi government asks Centre to frame rules for mushrooming cell towers
Mail Online India, 18 January 2012
In a first, the Delhi government plans to make it mandatory for all mobile phones sold in the national Capital to prominently display the level of radiation emitted by different brands of handsets.
The radiation tag is intended to forewarn consumers about the health hazards posed by the various handsets.
The decision to introduce the stringent norm was taken at a meeting of experts from the state health department, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and World Health Organization (WHO) here on Wednesday.
The meeting, chaired by state health minister A.K. Walia, also decided to put certain restrictions on the mobile phone towers across Delhi and has asked the Centre to frame rules for the mushrooming towers.
Risks of mobile phones to children are being 'downplayed'
The Ecologist, 14 November, 2011
Industry repeats the mantra 'children should be discouraged from using mobiles excessively' while doing nothing to ensure it happens, says Vicky Fobel from the campaign group MobileWise.
The wireless world is exploding. New wireless applications are being developed constantly and there are now more mobile phones than people in the UK. Even young children are buying into mobile technology in their millions.
Along with the convenience mobiles afford, however, come concerns. How is the radiation they produce affecting our health and the health of our children?
Official advice acknowledges that there may be a problem but plays it down. Manufacturers meanwhile imply there is no evidence of ill-effects and that, if mobiles were harmful, those problems would be manifesting themselves by now.