Monday, February 9, 2009
The Feb. 3 Health story "It's Not the Heat, It's the Tranquility; Smartphone Puts Newborn to Sleep" really caught our attention. A father used his iPhone for four months to play the soothing white noise of air conditioning to help his baby sleep. Instead of being lulled to sleep by a musical mobile, the baby shared his bed for as many as 12 to 14 hours a day with a phone that emits radio frequency radiation -- even when it isn't being used to receive or make phone calls.
A peer-reviewed article by Lennart Hardell and colleagues in the journal Occupational Environmental Medicine in 2007 examined 18 studies and found that people using cellphones for more than 10 years were at higher risk for two types of brain tumors: glioma and acoustic neuroma. Last summer, according to the journal Physics in Medicine and Biology, Ronald Herberman of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute warned his staff to limit cellphone use, particularly by children, whose brains absorb twice as much radiation from cellphones as do adult brains.
While we don't yet know exactly what the risks of radiation from cellphones may be, we do know that singing to your child (even out of tune) carries no health risks. If you want to use recorded music, don't use a cellphone and don't put the device in the crib.
FRANCE de BRAVO
Director of Public Affairs
National Research Center
for Women & Families