The Korea Herald


Ministry warns against kids’ mobile use

By 배지숙

Published : June 9, 2011 - 19:04

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The Ministry of Health and Welfare on Thursday advised infants and minors to avoid mobile phone use due to health risks.

It recommended that they use Bluetooth, hands-free or other non-contact devices if use was necessary to minimize exposure to possibly harmful radio waves.

A couple of weeks ago, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an affiliate of the World Health Organization, classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields from phone usage as a possible carcinogen.

Local experts have concluded that the effect of electromagnetic fields needs to be carefully monitored on young people since their brain and nervous systems are still developing and the potential damage could be worse.

Lee Jin-soo, chief of the National Cancer Center, said people need not panic at the guidelines, though, as studies are still underway about the exact cause-and-effect relationship between mobile phone use and cancer.

“However, it is recommendable to refrain from using it for a long period of time and start using other devices or text messaging,” he said.

“Also, keep the phone inside the purse or block its contact with the human body.”

France is pushing a ban on mobile phone advertisements for people under 14, while Switzerland, Germany and Finland also advise modest use of mobile phones.

By Bae Ji-sook (