American Academy of Pediatrics Issues New Recommendations to “Reduce Exposure to Cell Phones”
Nation’s largest group of children’s doctors responds to new government study linking cell phone radiation to cancer
In response to the U.S. National Toxicology Program study results finding exposure to wireless radiation significantly increased the prevalence of highly malignant heart and brain cancers in rodents, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued specific recommendations to reduce wireless cell phone exposure and updated their online resources for parents concerning cell phones and wireless devices.
“They’re not toys. They have radiation that is emitted from them and the more we can keep it off the body and use (the phone) in other ways, it will be safer,” said Jennifer A. Lowry, M.D., FAACT, FAAP, chair of the AAP Council on Environmental Health Executive Committee in the AAPs press release on the NTP Study Results.
The AAP issued the following cell phone safety tips on their webpage Healthy Children Webpage on Cell Phones. They specifically recommend to reduce exposure to wireless radiation:
“The findings of brain tumors (gliomas) and malignant schwann cell tumors of the heart in the NTP study, as well as DNA damage in brain cells, present a major public health concern because these occurred in the same types of cells that have been reported to develop into tumors in epidemiological studies of adult cell phone users,” stated Ronald L. Melnick, PhD, the National Institutes of Health toxicologist who lead the NTP study design and senior advisor to the Environmental Health Trust. “For children the cancer risks may be greater than that for adults because of greater penetration and absorption of cell phone radiation in the brains of children and because the developing nervous system of children is more susceptible to tissue-damaging agents. Based on this new information, regulatory agencies need to make strong recommendations for consumers to take precautionary measures and avoid close contact with their cell phones, and especially limit or avoid use of cell phones by children.”
The AAP has updated their Healthy Children Webpage on Cell Phones entitled Cell Phone Radiation & Children’s Health: What Parents Need to Know. The webpage reiterated children’s unique vulnerability to cell phone radiation stating, “Another problem is that the cell phone radiation test used by the FCC is based on the devices’ possible effect on large adults—not children. Children’s skulls are thinner and can absorb more radiation.”
In 2012, the AAP published Pediatric Environmental Health, 3rd Edition recommending, “exposures can be reduced by encouraging children to use text messaging when possible, make only short and essential calls on cellular phones, use hands free kits and wired headsets and maintain the cellular phone an inch or more away from the head.”
The official position of the AAP is documented in three letters they have written to government officials describing children’s unique vulnerability to wireless radiation and calling on the federal government to review and strengthen radiation standards for wireless devices in order to protect pregnant women and children’s health. In 2012, the AAP sent a letter in support of the newly proposed federal legislation referred to as the Cell Phone Right to Know Act. In 2012, the AAP wrote a letter to the Federal Communications Commission calling for them to open up a review of radiofrequency limits. In 2013, after the FCC opened up “Reassessment of Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields Limits and Policies” the AAP submitted a letter with their official comment.
American Academy of Pediatrics Documents
American Academy of Pediatrics Official Letters on Cell Phones and Wireless Radiation