Health Canada cellphone advice not enough for scientist
Health Canada warns cellphone users under 18 should limit their talking time
A scientist who specializes in environmental toxicology says Health Canada didn't go far enough with its warning this week about cellphone use for young people.
The agency encourages people under the age of 18 to limit the time they spend talking on a cellphone.
The agency's previous stance suggested that people could limit their cellphone use if they were concerned about an unproven suggestion the devices increase one's risk of developing brain cancer.
Magda Havas, a member of the Wireless Safety Council of Canada, said other sources of radio waves should also be limited.
Havas said she can't understand why Health Canada didn't advise people under the age of 18 to limit their use sooner.
Havas said she thinks Canada should have acted last May when the World Health Organization acknowledged that cell phones are "possibly carcinogenic."
Canadians own and use an estimated 24 million cellphones.
Havas said she also wants Health Canada to place limitations on other sources of radio frequency radiation including Wi-Fi, wireless baby monitors and cellphone towers.
"We also have evidence that people who live near cellphone antennas are becoming ill. We know that it affects sperm quality for example, so it's more than just cancer," Havas said.
It's not clear how much cellphone or other sources of radiation children can be exposed to without harm, Havas said.
But she said results of the few studies done to date aren't encouraging.
However, New Brunswick high school student Peter Jenson said he’s in no rush to put down his cellphone.
"I can die from many other things before I die from a cellphone," said Jenson.
Health Canada said the data suggesting the link between cellphones and health issues is far from conclusive and more research is needed.