NEWS

Children’s brains most susceptible; take sensible precaution measures

A child with cell phone in hand is an increasingly common sight, and a cause for serious concern. After exhausting the potential of the adult market, cell phone manufacturers are targeting teenagers – with potentially catastrophic results. Many parents succumb to their children’s pleas, either as a treat or as a means to keep in touch with them at all times. In fact, this is probably one of the most irresponsible things a parent can do. Associate Professor of Electronics Costas Lioliousis argues that «children’s and teenager’s bodies are in a state of constant development, their cells multiplying furiously. This means that chemical reactions in their cells, provoked by radiation from cell phones, evolve at an incredible rate and spread very, very fast. This is why the use of cell phones by anyone under the age of 18, when the brain is growing, is completely unacceptable.» This argument is supported by a Spanish study conducted at the Neuro Diagnostic Research Institute of Marbella in 2002, which illustrated that using a cell phone even for a few minutes is enough to reduce a child’s brain activity for an entire hour following use. In fact, there was even less brain activity seen on the side to which the phone was held. The first measure that must be taken to protect cell phone users is to force manufacturers to strictly adhere to regulations and, furthermore, to seek manufacturing methods that reduce radiation exposure. Also, each device should be clearly labeled with its Specific Absorption Rate, so that buyers may use this as a criterion when purchasing a new telephone. Use, not abuse The most important steps, however, have to be taken by cell phone users themselves. Use instead of abuse is key. Spending hours on end with a cell phone glued to our ears is equal to deep-frying our brains. Assistant Professor Constantina Nikita suggests: «We should avoid unnecessary, frequent and long calls. Also, calls should not be made in cars because the car’s metal increases radiation levels. The same applies for underground areas because more energy is used to get a signal. We must also keep the phone at distance from our head, this means that we do not place it directly onto our ear. Last, the use of a hands-free device is an absolute must.»