Environmental Health Trust

New State of the Art Research Shows Children's Brains Absorb Higher Doses of Cell Phone Radiation Than Adults

Imaging Studies Conducted by Professors of the Federal Universities of Brazil and EHT Confirm that the 19 Year Old Process for Evaluating Microwave Radiation from Phones Does Not Consider Children’s Greater Absorption


Teton Village, WY -- (ReleaseWire) -- 12/16/2015 --Cutting-edge research confirms that cell phone radiation is absorbed deeper into children's brains and that outdated cell phone test methods do not protect children, according to a peer-reviewed paper just published in a special issue of the IEEE/Access entitled "Dosimetric Simulations of Brain Absorption of Mobile Phone Radiation: the relationship between psSAR and age."

Current test systems for each of the world's more than 7 billion cell phones are 19 years old. A new paper from Professors Claudio Fernandez and Alvaro de Salles at Federal Universities of Brazil and Devra Davis of Environmental Health Trust (EHT) details how sophisticated computer imaging can simulate exposures of children's brains to cell phones. The research confirms that "the child brain overall absorbs twice as much radiation as that of an adult".

Because children's skulls and bones are thinner and their brains and bodies contain more fluid, they will naturally absorb more cell phone microwave radiation. This work employed anatomically based models of brains of different ages––a 3 to 34-year-old- and generated estimates of how each brain absorbs cell phone radiation. The simulations were run through a sophisticated computer system that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently applies to evaluate medical devices. The Finite-Difference-Time-Domain (FDTD) algorithm models different tissues within the brain into 1-millimeter cubes. This research confirmed higher absorption of microwave radiation into deeper structures in the young brain than into older individuals.

"Cell phone safety is currently evaluated with a twenty year old plastic model of an adult male head filled with a liquid that is supposed to mimic the human brain. During those twenty years, the same technology that has revolutionized cell phones has redefined the way we model human biology. Why aren't we using the most advanced technology to protect the safety of our children? Why are we still modeling their delicate, developing central nervous system with an adult sized bucket filled with imitation brain juice?" stated Robert D. Morris, MD, PhD, a physician, environmental epidemiologist and EHT senior medical advisor, author of a newly released paper criticizing the outdated testing methods, also published in this special issue of the of the IEEE/Access.

Cell phone standards are currently set to avoid radiation levels that could cause adverse health effects by heating the brain. This new published research confirms the concerns of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S. Government Accountability Office 2012 Report that cautions that current cell phone testing requirements may fail to protect children. In light of the growing number of infants and toddlers using phones and other wireless devices, the authors of this IEEE paper call for cell phone radiation tests to be updated and for children's exposures to be minimized.

"The existing SAM certification process (for cell phones) should be complemented with a computer simulation process (such as FDTD or others), using anatomically based models, including those representatives of the children and measuring the psSAR averaged over smaller volumes (e.g. containing 1 g or 100 mg of tissue) and in different tissues (including e.g. the brain)" stated Professors Claudio Fernandez and Alvaro de Salles.

Children differ from adults in a number of important ways including anatomy, metabolism, immune system, rate of brain and body growth, and the extent to which brain cells have a protective fatty sheath called myelin. Small impacts to their rapidly developing systems could have large impacts later in life.

Consumer Reports now recommends to users 'keep the phone away from your head and body" and "don't stow the phone in your pants or shirt pocket". The November 2015 Consumer Reports review cites a group of over 200 independent scientists from 39 countries who have called on the United Nations, the World Health Organization, and national governments to develop stricter controls suggesting that the low levels of radiation from cell phones could have potentially cancer-causing effects.

"Children are not little adults" stated Devra Davis PhD MPH, "As a member of the Centers for Disease Control Advisory Group on for Lead in 1979, we set more stringent levels for kids because we recognized that the young developing brain is exquisitely vulnerable to permanent damage. We now know there is no safe level of lead for children. Similarly, cell phone radiation has also been shown to damage brain development and just like lead, we have no scientific documentation of a safe level for children. We are talking about the real possibility of a generation of children with irreversible brain impacts from cellphones."

"For more than 30 years my research and that of many others has shown that children and smaller adults will absorb relatively more radiation from mobile devices than the large adult model on which phones are currently tested. Considering that proper research on long term use has not been done to determine the full health impacts on children, sweeping statements by interested sources that there are "no health effects" or that cell phones "are safe" cannot be made at this time." states Prof. Om Gandhi of the Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Univ. of Utah whose recently published IEEE article details how the laws of physics can be used to understand why children experience up to two times higher brain exposures from mobile phones.

This published sophisticated state of the art computer imaging confirms and builds upon decades of science showing higher absorption in children. In 1996, Om Gandhi's groundbreaking research first showed that 5-year-old and 10-year-old children have higher psSARs (peak spatial SAR) than adults. Later studies by Gandhi and Kang 2002 and from senior scientists with the French Telecommunications corporation Orange (Wiart et al., 2008 confirming and extending these findings) were cited by the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (WHO IARC) Monograph on Radio Frequency Fields published in 2013, classifying cell phone and wireless radiation as a Class 2B Possible Human Carcinogen. The WHO IARC monograph states, "the average exposure from use of the same mobile phone is higher by a factor of 2 in a child's brain and higher by a factor of 10 in the bone marrow of the skull."

These new papers on the issue of children's greater cell phone radiation absorption are published in the IEEE/Access, one of the world's leading engineering and scientific magazines. The online link for the full text of "Dosimetric Simulations of Brain Absorption of Mobile Phone Radiation: the relationship between psSAR and age." can be found at http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=7335557

About Claudio Enrique Fernandez Rodriguez
Claudio Enrique Fernandez Rodriguez is an Associate Professor at the Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Rio Grande do Sul – IFRS, in Canoas, Brazil. He received his BSc degree from the State University of Campinas – UNICAMP, Campinas, Brazil in 1996, and his MSc from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul – UFRGS, Porto Alegre, Brazil in 2000, both in Electrical Engineering. He coordinates a UN Development Program for the Strengthening of Technological Education in Brazil and in Uruguay and was the founding Dean of the Electrical Engineering School at the Federal Center of Technological Education of Pelotas – CEFET-RS, Pelotas, Brazil. He served as Director of Public Outreach of IRFS/Canoas and as a Labor Union state secretary. He is co-author of over 50 technical publications and a book chapter and served as reviewer of the Journal of Microwaves and Optoelectronics among other international publications.

About Alvaro Augusto A. de Salles
Alvaro Augusto A. de Salles is a Professor at UFRGS who has published more than 80 papers in international conferences and magazines. His main research interests are microwave semiconductor devices, optoelectronic devices, mobile communications, antennas and biological effects of non-ionizing radiation. He has a BSc in Electrical Engineering from Escola de Engenharia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul – UFRGS, Porto Alegre, Brazil in 1968, an MSc in Electrical Engineering from Pontificia Universidade Cato?lica do Rio de Janeiro – PUC/RJ, Rio de Janeiro in 1970, and a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of London, London, UK 1978-1982.

About Devra Davis, PhD MPH
Devra Davis, PhD MPH, is President of the Environmental Health Trust, a non-profit scientific and policy think tank. Currently Visiting Professor at The Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School and Ondokuz Mayis University Medical School, she was founding director of the Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology of the U.S. National Research Council (1983-93) and Founding Director, Center for Environmental Oncology, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (2004-2010). President Clinton appointed Dr. Davis to the newly established Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (1994-2000), and she is a former advisor to the United Nations Development Program, the World Health Organization and the U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health in the Department of Health and Human Services.

About Environmental Health Trust
Environmental Health Trust (EHT) supports cutting-edge, high-impact research, and educates individuals, health professionals and communities about controllable environmental health risks and policy changes needed to reduce those risks. Currently, EHT is raising health concerns about cell phones and wireless and recommends reducing exposures to decrease risk. The Environmental Health Trust maintains a regularly updated database of worldwide precautionary policies on wireless related to children.

Please visit http://www.EHtrust.org and on Facebook.

Dr Devra Davis Delivers Deans Lecture at Melbourne University: The truth about mobile phone and wireless radiation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwyDCHf5iCY

Professor Alvaro Augusto de Salles. Ph.D. Speaking on His Research in 2010: He outlines the measures already taken by Porto Alegre and the recommendations contained in The Porto Alegre Declaration, a document signed by international scientists advocating the Precautionary Principle.


Dr. Devra Davis and Dr. Sharma Lecture at George Washington University on Wireless and Health June 2015

Dr. Devra Davis lectures at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)