Doctor's Urge Mobile Ban For Children
February 09, 2005
Young children should be stopped from using mobile phones for fear of adverse reactions, a doctors’ group warned today.
Irish Doctors Environmental Association (IDEA) said action should be
taken to curb exposure to electromagnetic radiation as it may be
affecting the health of some sections of the population.
may be a proportion of the population, up to 5%, who may be
hypersensitive to electro magnetic radiation such as from mobile phone
base stations,” Dr Philip Michael, chairman of the organisation, said.
“The Government needs to act by at least stopping children.”
Michael said ministers should look to a report from the British
National Radiological Protection Board which advised parents not to
give mobiles to young children.
The group said there was a body
of research from Scandinavian countries which highlighted sensitivity
to the effects of electromagnetic radiation such as that emitted from
“They haven’t been proved to be safe, while there is no conclusive evidence against them,” he said.
“There is a huge body of evidence, if you look into the literature, that people have suffered from this.”
Michael said the studies, mainly from Sweden and Britain, had pointed
to irritation, drowsiness and lethargy from using the phone itself.
said there was no research carried out in Ireland, but the group had
carried out a scripted study among 16 people from the Irish
Electromagnet Radiation Victims Network over the last few years.
Irish study pointed to distressing side-effects from radiation
including heightened levels of clumsiness, excessive fatigue,
confusion, paraesthesia (tingling) and dizziness.
“People are suffering severely to the extent it can prevent them working or even leaving their houses,” he said.
group said there was no official recognition of this from the
Government or the health service and the most at risk had to be
Dr Michael said he had proposed a motion to come
before a meeting of the Irish Medical Council suggesting that the
Government should discourage children from using mobile phones except
Other motions also include a request the Government bans the building of base stations on or near schools.
Michael said health experts would be carrying out a further phase of
their study to see if they could prove all of the effects.
are looking to see if we can prove that, the effects of electromagnetic
radiation, the scripted study doesn’t prove anything,” he said.
Michael said the group had already made a submission to the Joint
Committee on Communications, Marine and Natural Resources in relation
to mobile phone radiation.
The Department of Communications said
there was no valid scientific reason to warn against the use of mobile
phones by children, but it would adopt a careful approach on the issue
The Oireachtas Committee meeting heard that the
communications regulator Comreg had carried out an investigation of 400
mobile base stations which had shown that none were exceeding the
guidelines on radiation.
The IDEA also called for an
epidemiological database to be set up with details of individuals
suffering from symptoms related to exposure to radiation and stricter
safety rules, like those in New Zealand, for the building masts.