[AI] No cellphones for children below 16?
dl.vikas at gmail.com
Wed Aug 29 00:50:31 EDT 2007
No cellphones for children below 16?
29 Aug 2007, 0050 hrs IST,PTI
NEW DELHI: Concerned over health hazards, government is considering norms that suggest taking precautionary steps to minimise risks associated with use
of mobile phones. The draft guidelines prepared by the Telecom Engineering Centre and under consideration of the department of telecom (DoT) have suggested,
among other things, that children below 16 years should be discouraged from using cell phones.
It pointed out that phones and base station antennas used by telecom operators radiate energy that heats up tissues and may be harmful to human beings,
especially children. "The tissues of children are tender and therefore, they are likely to be more affected by use of mobile phones. Children below 16
years age should be discouraged from using mobile phones," the draft guidelines suggested.
For base station antennas, the draft said, these should not be installed within the premises of schools and hospitals. Installation of these antennas
in narrow lanes should also be avoided to reduce the risks caused by any earthquake or wind related disaster.
The proposal noted that even World Health Organisation was studying if there were harmful effects of electromagnetic fields on human beings but the results
have been inconclusive.
WHO has, however, suggested a precautionary approach and also come out with a model legislation and framework on electromagnetic field and health standards.
Canada, US, EU, Australia, Japan and China have implemented this precautionary approach in different forms.
"Mobile phones are usually kept closer to the ear which is very near to the brain. It is suspected that the continuous use of mobile phone for longer
duration may damage some brain tissues. Using hands-free facility seems to be a better option, if longer use is unavoidable," the draft norms said.
It also suggested that the use of mobile phones or radio terminals by people using medical aids such as pace-makers and hearing aids should be minimised.
Use of mobile phones in vulnerable areas of hospitals such as Intensive Care Unit should also be prohibited or restricted.
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