Children more at risk due to cell phone radiation

If you take pride in your child being brought up in a digital age, think again. Advantage of technology aside, this digital generation is also the one exposed to maximum radiation during childhood and adolescence years.

We all know mobile phones and cordless phones emit radio frequency (RF) radiation during use.

But do we consider that the brain is the main target organ for RF emissions, especially when it is the handheld wireless phone. It is because of the RF energy that mobile phones transmit information.

Research has suggested that our frequent and close-range exposure to mobile phones means it could be enough to put us at risk.


Some time back, the California Department of Health issued a warning after mounting evidence that mobile phone use could be linked to a string of health concerns. These include cancer, poor mental health and reproductive issues.

People are being warned to keep their mobile phones at a distance to reduce radiation exposure and associated health risks.

Several cities, including Berkeley and San Francisco have also issued local warnings that people should make some distance between their phones and their bodies.

In fact, smartphone manufacturers like Apple agree and even include an ‘RF exposure’ notice in the iPhone’s settings.

Joel Moskowitz, director of the Center for Family and Community Health at the University of California at Berkeley offers steps you can take to reduce radiation exposure. Moskowitz is among the 220 and more scientists to have signed the International Electromagnetic Field Scientist Appeal calling for tougher limits on cell phones and related technologies.

Steps you can take to reduce radiation exposure –

  • Follow the advice of the cell phone manufacturer. Read the fine print of your manual or other instructions that come with your phone. It differs from phone to phone. You’re supposed to keep an iPhone 7 at least 5 mm (about 0.2 inches) away from your body. In case of a Samsung Galaxy S6 at least 1.5 cm (about 0.6 inches) and a Google Pixel 1 cm (about 0.4 inches) away.
  • While using cell phones, encourage young users to use hands-free devices. Use your speakerphone or a wired headset, or text instead of calling.
  • Keep your distance. Instead of holding it or keeping it next to your, keep your cell phone or cordless phone as far away from your body as possible. Strictly avoid when it’s powered on.
  • Turn off wireless networks and devices to decrease your family’s radiation exposure. As a first step turn off your wi-fi router when not in use.
  • Take special care to maintain distance from your head and reproductive organs.
  • Wait for a good signal. Your cell phone emits more radiation when the signal is poor.
  • Avoid using it while in enclosed metal areas such as elevators, cars, buses, trains or planes.
  • Avoid second hand exposure. One way of doing that would be to avoid using in public places where a lot of people are packed together and using cell phones.
  • Turn off your phone. Turn off your cell phone when not in use, or switch to airplane mode.

Why Children Are At Risk?

  • Study shows that children suffer a higher exposure of their brain regions than adults. This is because children have proportionally smaller heads. Hence they have smaller brains. Yet receive the same levels of cell phone radiation as adults.
  • According to American Academy of Pediatrics, cell phones when used by children, the average Radio Frequency energy deposition is two times higher in the brain. And 10 times higher in the bone marrow of the skull, compared with mobile phone use by adults.
  • Children have thinner tissues and bones than adults. Hence kids who start using cell phones and cordless landline phones at an early age have higher risk of developing brain tumours than adults.
  • Studies also show that children who used cell phones often were more likely to have Attention Deficit Hyperactive Syndrome.

Experts may agree or disagree whether cell phone radiation can cause health risks. We are surrounded by digital technologies. With respect to health implications of digital (wireless) technologies, it can have implications like – neurological diseases, physiological addiction, cognition, sleep, and behavioural problems are considered in addition to cancer.

Brains tumours or cancers do not develop until several decades after initial exposure. It could be years before we know how cell phones are for us and our families, and our future generation. Instead of harming our health, it is best to take precautions.