Some rats developed tumors after being exposed to cell phone radiation, according to preliminary results of a study released Thursday.
In light of the findings, the Academy continues to reinforce its recommendation that parents should limit use of cell phones by children and teens.
“They’re not toys. They have radiation that is emitted from them and the more we can keep it off the body and use (the phone) in other ways, it will be safer,” said Jennifer A. Lowry, M.D., FAACT, FAAP, chair of the AAP Council on Environmental Health Executive Committee.
The study by the National Toxicology Program, part of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, exposed rats to radiofrequency radiation for nine hours a day for two years beginning in utero and compared them to rats that were not exposed. Some of the male rats developed malignant tumors in their hearts and brains while the control group did not, according to the report, which included only partial findings.
Dr. Lowry, chief for the Section of Clinical Toxicology at Children's Mercy Hospital, said it is difficult to translate the results in rats to humans, and exposure was heavier than it would be for most people.
In Pediatric Environmental Health, 3rd Edition, the Academy recommends “exposures can be reduced by encouraging children to use text messaging when possible, make only short and essential calls on cellular phones, use hands free kits and wired headsets and maintain the cellular phone an inch or more away from the head.” The book also warns against talking on the phone or texting while driving.