• 22 OCT 13
    • 0

    Cordless phones are more of a health risk to young people than mobiles, according to new university research.


    Cordless phones are more of a health risk to young people than mobiles,
    according to new university research.

    In a study of almost 400 Wellington intermediate pupils, adjunct Victoria
    University researcher Mary Redmayne found pre-teens were more likely to
    suffer headaches if they made long or frequent calls on cordless phones or

    The research, to be published in theEnvironmental Health journal this week,
    also found high users of cordless phones more commonly experienced
    tinnitus, or ringing in their ears.

    In a separate study, the PhD candidate discovered year 7 and 8 students
    talked on cordless phones for far longer than on their mobiles, meaning it
    was the home line exposing them to the highest doses of potentially harmful

    “People are pretty poorly informed about how this technology works – many
    people don’t realise that cordless phones are actually cellphones,” Ms
    Redmayne said.

    “Modern cellphones use the lowest amount of power that they need to
    transmit, but a cordless phone always works on full power.”

    Her population-adjusted research found a significant association between
    teens’ radiofrequency exposure and short-term health issues – but
    international research suggested the long-term health risks were far more
    serious, she said.

    “The highest category of use – over half an hour a day – in many studies
    has shown an increased risk of glioma, a malignant [brain or spine] tumour
    that is often fatal. Several studies have also shown an increased risk of
    acoustic neuroma – a little tumour on the nerve between the ear and the

    Other research papers showed male fertility was also adversely affected,
    this time from carrying a cellphone in a pants pocket. While many held that
    the science was inconclusive overall, Ms Redmayne said governments and
    individuals should be paying attention. “There was certainly enough to be
    concerned about.”

    Sophie Walker, of the National Centre for Radiation Science, who advises
    the Ministry of Health, said the latest research showed conclusively that
    radiofrequency radiation had an effect at the cellular level. “But it’s
    very hard to say whether that translates into things like headaches or
    short-term effects people report . . . it’s a very hard link to make.”

    The jury was also still out on long-term health effects. “Radiofrequency
    has only been used within the wider population for the last 30 years, so
    true long-term studies are really still under way. Really conclusive stuff
    hasn’t yet been established.”

    But there was no doubt such a robust study showing irrefutable evidence
    that radiation had negative health effects would be taken seriously by
    scientists and governments. “It would have effects across the entire world.”

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