Kids should text rather than talk on mobile

June 27th, 2010 - 1:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, June 27 (IANS) Children should text rather than talk on their mobile phones, Australia’s radiation safety watchdog has said, noting that a child’s skull is thinner and could absorb more radiation.
The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPNSA) made the observation, after a study into the health effects of using mobile phones.

“Children should be encouraged to limit exposure from mobile phones to their heads by reducing call time, by making calls where reception is good, by using hands-free devices or speaker options, or by texting,” Daily Telegraph Sunday quoted the watchdog as saying.

An Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association spokesman said: “There is no known basis for singling out children for concern.”

ARPNSA’s warning came barely weeks after a 10-year global study linked extended mobile phone use to higher risk of brain tumours.

The media report said that the Interphone project, which is the world’s biggest study into the health effects of mobiles, didn’t find increased risk of cancer overall, but those who talk at least 30 minutes a day are up to 40 percent more likely to develop glioma, the most common type of brain cancer.

Bruce Armstrong, a professor at Sydney University’s School of Public Health who led the Australian part of the Interphone study, pointed out that mobile phone radiation was more harmful to kids as their bodies were less developed.

“The skull is thinner and so more of the radiation produced will be absorbed into the brain in a child, who has a mobile phone to their ear, than in an adult who has the same conversation.

“It’s not a huge amount, but it is material.”

Armstrong said he supported the radiation agency’s advice, but stopped short of calling for it to be extended to all users.

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