Children should not have or be exposed to new or old cell phones in the wake of the World Health Organization report linking cell phones to cancer, according to Canadian NDP health critic France Galinas. “Would you let your kids play in the exhaust pipe of a car?” Galinas asks. “Use the precautionary principle here.” Galinas has been calling for warning labels on cell phones and other such devices since the end of last year, but the WHO announcement has only strengthened her resolve that something needs to be done, particularly when it comes to young children. “I would say kids should not be using it until they are full grown and for adults, (take) steps to protect yourself,” she advises. She also indicated that sensible precautions should be taken where possible, that people should use hands free accessories (including headsets and car kits) and minimize mobile usage to reduce any possible health risks.
Margaret Best, the Ontario Health Promotion Minister, says that the ministry will be consulting with local medical experts on the issue, adding that at this stage the World Health Organization’s warning is still just of a “possible”, rather than proven, link. “I do not at this point intend to change my use of the cell phone, but I certainly intend to continue to monitor the new evidence that has been brought forward,” she acknowledges.