• 12 FEB 11
    • 0

    1354: Cellphone risk to pregnant women, babies

    Two articles send in by Olle Johansson:

    Cellphones ‘a threat to unborn babies’
    Scientists issue new warnings
    Feb 7, 2011 10:54 PM | By HARRIET MCLEA
    Pregnant women should not use cellphones because electromagnetic radiation from them could harm their unborn babies.

    Link: http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/article899651.ece/Cellphones-a-threat-
    to-unborn-babies

    Credit: REUTERS

    This was the warning issued last week by an international panel of scientists studying the health risks associated with the radiation emitted by wireless electronic devices.
    Members of the panel included Yuri Grigoriev, of the Russian National Committee on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection, and Olle Johansson, of Sweden’s Royal Institute of Technology. Also among the researchers calling for new “biologically-based public exposure standards” to protect public health were Lloyd Morgan, of California’s Bioelectromagnetics Society, and Elihu Richter, of Hebrew University Medical School, Jerusalem.

    Johansson said: “Standards for radio frequency and microwave radiation from wireless technologies are entirely inadequate. “They were never intended to address the kind of exposures from wireless devices that now affect more than 4billion people.”

    Electromagnetic radiation is emitted by devices such as cellphones, cordless phonesand wi-fi routers. The scientists produced warnings specifically for cellphone and cordless phone users, including:

    * a recommendation that pregnant women stay away from cell and cordless phones, and away from people using them;

    * a “strong” recommendation that children of any age must not use cell or cordless phones, or palm-top computers;

    * that users should keep cellphones away from the head and body at all times;

    * that phones be switched off before being put in a user’s pockets;

    * that schools use wired internet access instead of wireless connections because wireless connections “create pervasive and prolonged electromagnetic exposures for children”;

    * avoid using any wireless devices – including baby monitors, wireless internet, wireless security systems, wireless power transmitters and wireless headsets – which might produce potentially harmful radiation.

    Tracey-Lee Dorny, chairman of the Electromagnetic Radiation Research Foundation of SA, said a foetus is the most vulnerable to radiation “because it is in water and water attracts radiation more”. However, Vodacom spokesman Richard Boorman said there have been “thousands of scientific studies into the effects of radio frequency on health” but they had provided no convincing proof that exposure – within internationally set guidelines – carried any health risks for adults or children. Boorman said the World Health Organisation has suggested reducing exposure as a precaution by keeping the device away from the head and body, not putting it on your lap while transferring data files, and sending SMSs instead of making calls.

    AND:

    The Herald, South Africa, Copyright 2011 8 feb 2011
    Avusa Media Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

    “New study warns of cellphone risk to pregnant women, babies” by Harriet McLea
    PREGNANT women should not use cellphones because electromagnetic radiation could harm their unborn babies. This was the warning issued last week by an international panel of scientists studying the health risks associated with radiation from all wireless electronic devices. Among the scientists who published the report in the Pubmed Journal of Medicine were Adamantia Fragopoulou and Lukas Margaritis of Athens University, Yuri Grigoriev of the Russian National Committee on Non-Ionising Radiation, and Prof Olle Johansson of Sweden’s Royal Institute of Technology. Also among the authors calling for new “biologically-based public exposure standards” to protect public health were Lloyd Morgan of California’s Bioelectromagnetics Society and Elihu Richter of the Hebrew University medical school in Jerusalem. Stockholm-based Johansson said: “Standards for radio frequency and microwave radiation from wireless technologies are entirely inadequate. They never were intended to address the kind of exposures from wireless devices that now affect over four billion people.” Electromagnetic radiation is emitted through devices like cellphones, cordless phones, wi-fi zones and wi-fi routers. When Dorney began studying radiation from wireless devices she used a cellphone extensively. “Now I wish I had never picked up one to begin with,” she said. Dorney said a foetus was most vulnerable to radiation “because it is in water – water attracts radiation more”. “Worldwide there needs to be enough government protection regarding the strength of electromagnetic radiation,” she said. However, Vodacom spokesman Richard Boorman said there had been “thousands of scientific studies into the effects of radio frequency on health”. But, he said, the studies provided no convincing proof that exposure – within internationally set guidelines – carried any health risks for adults or children.

    (Olle Johansson, assoc. prof.
    The Experimental Dermatology Unit
    Department of Neuroscience
    Karolinska Institute
    171 77 Stockholm
    Sweden

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