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MK's Call For
PR Drive On Cellphone Dangers
The Knesset Science and Technology Committee yesterday called for information campaigns among parents and youngsters "on the dangers of excessive use of cellular phones," but it did not call for a prohibition of use by children and teenagers.
The committee held the discussion following the issue of a report by the Stewart Commission on cellular phone use that advised youngsters to avoid using cellphones because of their "thinner skulls," but which said it had "no proof" that using them is harmful to people of any age.
Committee chairman Anat Maor (Meretz) demanded that the interministerial committee (comprising the Health, Communications, and Environment ministries) should renew its work on electromagnetic radiation. The committee stopped meeting when the new government was established a year ago.
Dr. Zamir Shalita, the committee's scientific adviser, said that many diseases occur from the interaction of several factors, including oxygen free radicals created as a result of chemical pollution, exposure to radiation, and stress in our lives. "One can avoid being harmed and minimize the damage if we reduce the radiation to which we are exposed," he said.
Dr. Menahem Margaliot, head of radiation measurement at the Nahal Sorek Nuclear Research Center, said he disagrees with a study on cellular phone earpieces published recently in the British consumer magazine Which? that claimed their use magnifies radiation reaching the head. Margaliot said his tests show that using the tiny earpiece attached to a cellphone cuts radiation by 1/20th.
Shiala Kandel, of the Environment Ministry, said that officials recommend minimizing the amount of use until research on the matter becomes clear.