Health Canada has told parents of children under the age of 18 to limit the amount of time they spend talking on new or old cell phones. The new advice was issued by the agency yesterday and is a nuanced alteration from the advice given on previous occasions, which merely suggested people limit their cell phone time if they were at all concerned by the unproven speculation that cell phone radiation could increase the chances of developing brain cancer.
“Really it’s more proactive in encouraging cell phone users to find ways to limit their exposure and… to empower parents to make healthy choices to reduce their children’s exposure,” says James McNamee, who works as the division chief for health effects and assessments in the Health Canada bureau for consumer and clinical radiation protection.
The new advice, which seems to be a response to the report issued by the World Health Organization five months ago back in May, also reminds people that it is possible to reduce their level of exposure to cell phone radiation by limiting the length of their cell phone conversations and by using hands-free devices or texting instead of calling.
“We want to make people aware that there is some uncertainty in the science, particularly for children,” McNamee notes, while adding that the evidence of a link between cell phones and brain cancer is still inconclusive.