USA: Cellphones threat to children’s brains

maandag, 01 juli 2013 - Categorie: Berichten Internationaal

Bron: .
28 juni 2013

Experts: Cellphones pose threat to children’s brains

Met bekende specialisten als Devra Davis en Hugh Taylor

By LESLIE ROVETTI / Sun Staff Writer

STONINGTON — According to a panel of scientists, radiation from cellphones and wireless Internet can negatively affect the brains of children, causing problems with perception, memory and sleep, among other vital functions.

That was the message the scientists brought to the La Grua Center on Friday, hoping to educate the public on what they say is a grave public health danger that is being obscured by corporate interests. Although there are still questions about the effects of cellphones, the scientists felt there was a strong enough correlation that people need to be warned.

Hugh Taylor, a Yale University obstetrician and gynecologist, doesn’t study cellphones, but he studies their effect on developing fetuses. Initially, his interest was to see how cellphone radiation affects the fertility of mice that were exposed to cellphone radiation in utero.

He devised a study where half the mice were exposed to cellphones that were powered on, and half to phones that were turned off. But instead of finding fertility effects, he found behavioral effects. The mice that gestated in these conditions were found as adults to be hyperactive, had diminished memory and they weren’t anxious, causing them to act impulsively. In human terms, they had the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

“The fetus is very vulnerable,” Taylor said. “It’s at a very delicate age.”
Their brain cells also behaved differently, on a molecular level, than the control mice.

The cellphone communicates with the tower all of the time, unless it’s turned off, so humans don’t need to be on the phone all of the time to receive constant exposure, Taylor said. He advises pregnant women not to carry a cellphone on their belt or in their pocket, or keep a phone by their beds at night.

Martin Blank, a researcher in bioelectromagnetics at Columbia University, said the reason these electromagnetic fields are dangerous is because they can damage DNA, the genetic material that dictates how cells grow. Even at the lowest energy levels, from radiation generated by the electricity used to power lightbulbs and televisions, radiation can affect children, he said. He cited studies that showed that growing up near high-tension power lines correlates with an increase in leukemia, neurological diseases and cancers. He also cited a study that showed children who grew up near a radio tower have higher rates of cancer, which increased the closer they lived to the tower. Blank had other data showing that rates of salivary gland cancer increased with cellphone use.
Damage to DNA can cause errors, which in turn can cause cancer, years after the error occurs, he said.

David Carpenter, director of the Institute for Health and Environment at the University of Albany, cautioned that children are receiving too much exposure to radiation and electromagnetic fields. Microwaves are everywhere, he explained, and not just in your kitchen. They come from cell towers, cellphones, radar and wireless Internet in homes, businesses and schools.

“Cellphones are everywhere,” he said. “People just can’t seem to get along without them.”

However, he noted, United States standards for microwave exposure are based on the amount of microwaves it would take to cook your body like a baked potato, and not on correlation to cancer and behavioral issues like irritability, depression and an inability to concentrate. Standards in Eastern Bloc countries are 1,000 times lower, he said.

Like the first three speakers, Devra Lee Davis said there are strong correlations of the effect of cellphones on children’s brains, but not direct evidence.

“We don’t have a lot of clear information,” she said, “and if we’re really smart, we’re not going to wait for it.”

Davis, who founded the Center for Environmental Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh, agreed with others that male fertility can be affected by microwaves, and much more than female fertility. Female reproductive organs are more protected than males’, and males continue to manufacture reproductive cells throughout their lives, while women are born with all of theirs.

“When you guys put that cellphone in your pocket, think about it,” she said to the men in the room.

The panelists had advice for the roughly 50 people who attended the presentation. Turn your cellphones off when they’re not using them. Keep them as far away from your bodies as possible, and keep them as far away from your head as possible when you talk on them. Cellphones should not be kept near the abdomen of pregnant women, and young children should only use them in an emergency. Don’t sleep with your phone. And men who would like to be fathers some day should keep their phones out of their pockets.

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