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Does Cell Phone Radiation Harm Fetuses?
January 18, 2008

Researchers should study more children and pregnant women in trying to figure out if cell phones or other wireless devices could damage health, the U.S. National Research Council advised on Thursday.

A few studies have indicated a possible link between mobile telephone use and brain tumors, although far more show no connection. But because wireless devices have become almost ubiquitous, researchers wants to ensure their safety.

The Food and Drug Administration asked the National Research Council to recommend some future lines of study. The Council, which advises Congress and the federal government on scientific matters, held a meeting of experts including engineers and biologists and has now released the full report.

Most studies have looked only at short-term effects on healthy adults, the report said.

More study needs to be done on multiple, long-term, low-intensity radiofrequency (RF) exposure, the report said.

"Measuring the amount of RF energy received by juveniles, children, pregnant women, and fetuses from wireless devices and RF base station antennas could help define exposure ranges for various populations," the council said in a statement.

"Although it is unknown whether children are more susceptible to RF exposure, they may be at increased risk because of their developing organ and tissue systems," it added.

"Additionally, Specific Absorption Rates for children are likely to be higher than for adults, because exposure wavelength is closer to the whole-body resonance frequency for shorter individuals."

The report also notes that children today will experience a longer period of RF field exposure from mobile phones than adults, because they will most likely start using them at an early age.

Researchers should also analyze the different types of antennas for the amount of RF energy they deliver to different parts of the body.

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