Studies, studies, and more studies have been done to research cell phone safety – do they cause brain tumors? The World Health Organization officially classified cell phones’ radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as cancer-causing (cue massive debate), not long after Dr. Devra Davis claimed that cell phones were especially dangerous to children. Dr. Davis may be right after all — new research published in the journal Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine indicates that kids absorb more radiation than adults. This is, in a nutshell, bad.
Cell phone radiation, whether or not it actually causes cancer, is nonetheless tested and tested again to make sure the devices are safe to use. Cell phones are certified before they’re approved for sale and production. The problem here is that while they might be okay for adults, none of the tests are specifically aimed at children.
Current cell phone certification tests use a plastic head model called the “Specific Anthropomorphic Mannequin,” or SAM. SAM was modeled after military recruits in 1989 – all of whom were at least 18 (unless someone lied on his application). Still, since it doesn’t seem likely that a small child enlisted in the military, SAM is not a representation of a child’s head.
Since children have smaller heads and thinner skulls than adults, the bone marrow can absorb up to 10 times the radiation that an adult’s might, according to the report. Maybe cell phones aren’t dangerous for children, and maybe they are – but the current tests won’t tell us. With more and more cell phones in the hands of kids, maybe it’s time to revamp the tests.