Cell phone cancer risk in children finally legitimized

cell phone and kids

It used to be warnings about cell phone safety were deemed conspiracy theory or quack science. Not anymore — the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) now recommends limiting cell phone use for children based on a large government study linking cancer with cell phone radiation.

The study found exposure to wireless radiation significantly increased the rates of highly malignant heart and brain cancer in rodents. In other words, cell phones caused cancer in these animals.

The cells affected in the research animals are the same cells in humans that develop into cancers in adult cell phone users.

These results were alarming enough to prompt the AAP to warn parents to limit children’s exposure to cell phones and wireless devices.

The study also showed cell phones damaged DNA in brain cells.

Children susceptible to cell phone cancer risk

The risks for cell phone cancer damage are believed to be higher for children than adults.

Children have thinner skulls, which makes it easier for cell phone radiation to penetrate and absorb into a child’s brain. Children’s nervous systems are also not fully developed and thus more sensitive to damage.

As a result of this information, the AAP warns adults not to keep cell phones on or near their body and that a child’s exposure should be limited or avoided.

How to reduce cell phone cancer risk

Sadly, it’s almost impossible to imagine a world without cell phones these days, despite the risks.

The AAP suggests the following ideas to reduce cancer risk in both adults and children:

  • Choose text messaging as much as possible, and for calls, use speaker mode or hands-free kits.
  • Hold the cell phone at least an inch away from your head.
  • Keep calls short.
  • Do not carry your phone against your body. The amount of radiation you absorb that way may be at an unsafe level.
  • To watch a movie on your phone or tablet, download it first and switch to airplane mode to view. This will help you avoid unnecessary radiation exposure.
  • A weaker cell signal means more radiation because the phone has to work harder. Wait until you have a stronger signal before using your phone or tablet.
  • Avoid making calls in areas where the phone has to work harder for a signal through metal, such as in cars, elevators, trains, and buses.
  • Do not let a child use a cell phone as a toy or for teething.

Cell phone cancer risks little known

Fortunately, cell phone cancer risks are now being legitimized through new research, thus increasing awareness.

For more advice about general cancer prevention through nutrition and lifestyle, contact my office.

Sugar industry funds studies to influence nutrition

sugar industry buys studies copy

Nutrition experts recommend women consume less than 25 grams, or 6 teaspoons, a day of added sugar (9 teaspoons for men). Yet the average American consumes almost 20 teaspoons a day! And that doesn’t even include fruit juice, a known sugar bomb.

How did we allow ourselves to stray so far? Powerful lobbyists with deep pockets played a big role in our overly lax boundaries with a substance that is tanking the world’s developed nations.

Recent findings show that 50 years ago the sugar industry quietly paid for research to blame fat for heart disease and minimize sugar’s role.

(Of course, now we know that the highly inflammatory effects of excess sugar are a major contributor to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic diseases.)

Unfortunately, the propaganda campaign didn’t stop 50 years ago; it’s still going strong today.

Sickly sweet sales and marketing

For instance, a grape-juice funded study shows grape juice is good for brain function, despite it packing a whopping 36 grams of sugar per cup, more than what a person should consume in an entire day. Sugar is so degenerative to the brain that scientists now call Alzheimer’s type 3 diabetes.

Coca-cola spent more than $130 million dollars to fund research essentially saying exercise is more important than diet in the weight loss battle. While exercise is indeed important, how you fuel your body is equally important. We’ll assume Coca-Cola did not fund the studies showing a link between the obesity epidemic and soda consumption in the United States.

And, in a brazen show of hubris, the National Confectioner’s Association funded research that concluded children who eat candy weigh less than those who don’t. Despite being naysaid by one of its own scientists, the study nevertheless went on to be published in a respected journal.

Although food giants can buy their way into scientific journals, investigative journalists find these studies are poorly designed, incomplete, and only highlight the positives while ignoring the negatives. Because the average journalist is not trained in how to discern good research from bad, bad studies get ample press.

To spotlight these problems, one science writer conducted a hoax study that concluded eating chocolate causes weight loss and watched the media play it up.

Can you believe science? Yes, be mindful of fads

Does that mean you can’t believe any science? No, plenty of good research is still happening.

The trick is to ferret out the nutritional guidelines based on hundreds of solid studies and read the headline grabbers (chocolate linked with weight loss) with healthy skepticism.

At the end of the day, some nutritional truisms have held fast over the years:

  • Eat lots of different vegetables every day
  • Eat a whole foods diet (avoid processed foods)
  • Avoid or minimize sugars, junk foods, sodas, and juices
  • Eat healthy fats
  • Avoid the foods to which you are sensitive (gluten and dairy are common ones)
  • Exercise daily
  • Cultivate positive experiences, habits, and thoughts

?