comsc US Politics | AMERICAblog News: France bans adverts for mobiles to children - cites radiation problems
Join Email List | About us | AMERICAblog Gay
Elections | Economic Crisis | Jobs | TSA | Limbaugh | Fun Stuff

France bans adverts for mobiles to children - cites radiation problems

| Reddit | Tumblr | Digg | FARK

The radiation issue with mobile phones used to be immediately dismissed - mostly by the mobile industry - but increasingly this is an issue that needs close review. I carry a mobile when I travel but otherwise it tends to sit on my desk and I generally try to avoid using it. When the warnings first emerged the argument was that test results were unclear, which was only normal because the technology was new and side effects take years to develop. I hardly think much about the FDA dismissing the radiation issues as they have not been know to say anything against business since the GOP destroyed the organization in the 1990s. In Europe, governments also saw the business that EU-based handset producers were generating and they're not immune to turning a blind eye themselves.

We are now a good 10+ years into widespread mobile use and health agencies are starting to wake up. While it's easy to see the benefits of having kids equipped with mobile phones, the health issues should be a significant concern and more governments should have a serious public debate about the consequences. Governments who have nationalized health care stand to pay a heavy price if they ignore problems which may be why the most noise on this issue is now coming from Europe.

New laws cracking down on children's use of mobile phones are to be introduced in France amid growing fears that they may cause cancer and other diseases.

All advertising of the devices to children under 12 is to be prohibited under the legislation – announced by the Environment Minister, Jean-Louis Borloo, last week – and he will also take powers to ban the sale of any phone designed to be used by those under six.

The French government will also introduce new limits for radiation from the phones and make it compulsory for handsets to be sold with earphones, so that users can avoid irradiating their heads and brains. And one of the country's largest cities last month started an advertising campaign to discourage the use of the phones by children.

The clampdown represents the most comprehensive action yet taken by any government worldwide. It contrasts sharply with the stance of British ministers, who have largely ignored the recommendations of an official report nine years ago that people aged under 16 should be discouraged from using mobiles, and that the industry should be stopped from promoting them to children. Since then their use by the young has almost doubled, so that nine out of 10 of the country's 16-year-olds own a handset.

Swedish research indicates that children and teenagers are five times more likely to get brain cancer if they use the phones, causing some experts to predict an "epidemic" of the disease among today's young people in later life. But consideration of the threat to them has been specifically excluded from Britain's official £3.1m investigation into the risk of cancer from mobiles.

The French ministry warned that "mobile phone use is increasing at a rapid pace among youths", and warns that the young may be "more sensitive because their bodies are still developing". Children's heads are smaller and their skulls thinner.

blog comments powered by Disqus