New Study Confirms Higher Cell Phone Radiation Absorption in Children’s Brain

2015 study by U.S. and Brazilian scientists confirms a significantly higher absorption of cell phone radiation in a child’s brain than in an adult’s brain.

Measuring Cell Phone Radiation
Cell phone radiation absorption is measured by what is called SAR (Specific Absorption Rate). In the U.S. the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) sets the SAR safety limit for the general public to be 1.6 watts per kilogram (1.6 W/kg).

Current FCC Standards & Different Body Sizes
A point of concern related to this is the fact that while the FCC safety standards apply to all users’ body sizes (from small children to large adult), the actual testing model known as SAM (Specific Anthropomorphic Mannequin) used in SAR compliance testing is based upon a 6’2”, 220 lbs. large adult male. According to a 2011 study, SAM represents only the largest 3% of cell phone users. There has been concern that the smaller 97% of the population actually receives higher exposure than the reported SAR of the device from its certification process. Children come in well under the size and specifications of the SAM testing model.

Testing the Difference in SAR
The present study used computer simulation to compare the peak SAR in the brains of children to that of adults. It found that the peak SAR in a child’s brain is more than double that in an adult’s brain. The human head consists of the brain and the skull, which surrounds and protects the brain. A young child’s skull is not only smaller and thinner than an adult’s, but also absorbs RF differently because of its higher water content. As a result, cell phone radiation penetrates deeper and the SAR is higher in a child’s brain.

The present study excluded outer ear tissue (pinna) from the SAR calculation. The FCC recently declared that the outer ear is to be treated as an extremity, like the hand or foot, and not as part of the head. Based on the new classification, the pinna is subject to a higher peak SAR safety limit of 4.0 W/kg instead of the generally-used 1.6 W/kg limit for head and body.

However, the size of the ear is an important factor when comparing the RF energy absorption in the brains of children and adults from cell phones in real life. In a 2015 publication by Gandhi titled “Yes the Children Are More Exposed to Radiofrequency Energy from Mobile Telephones than Adults”, Gandhi explained that “the main reason why children, women, and people with thinner pinnae and skulls absorb more radiofrequency energy is because of the placement of the cell phone radiating source closer to the brain”. Distance plays a key role in determining RF energy absorption from the cell phone because RF radiation intensity increases dramatically as it gets closer to the antenna in the so-called near-field region of the cell phone. According to Gandhi, the smaller size of pinna and skull of children results in their higher RF absorption under similar cell phone usage conditions.

What Other Studies Have Found
Many previous studies also found higher RF energy absorption in children than adults. For example, a 2002 study by Gandhi and Kang showed that the peak 1-g SAR for both the body tissue and the brain increases with reducing head size. A 2003 study by Anderson found that children received a higher dose of RF radiation compared to adults, and that the dose increases with decreasing age. A 2008 study by Wiart et al. showed that the maximum SAR in 1 g of peripheral brain tissues of child models aged between 5 and 8 years is about two times higher than in adult models. A 2010 study by Christ et al showed that the locally induced fields in children can be more than double in subregions of the brain and the eye due to the closer proximity of the phone to these tissues. The increase is even larger for bone marrow (greater than 10 times) as a result of its significantly higher conductivity. A 2014 study by Lu et al. also showed that the SAR distributions in the human brain are age-dependent, and there is a deeper penetration of the absorbed RF in a child’s brain.

The Conclusions
Not only do children’s brains experience higher exposure and deeper penetration from cell phone radiation, but they also face longer lifetime exposure. Many studies show that the health effects of wireless radiation are cumulative. But there is still much that we just don’t know. Additionally, children’s developing nervous systems and immature immune systems make them more vulnerable to environmental toxicants, including wireless radiation. The effect of wireless radiation on their brains as they develop is largely unknown, which is the source of concern for our team here at Pong. The outcome of all these studies suggests that exposure to cell phone radiation should be restricted for children.

Use Precaution
We suggest using great caution in how you allow your children to use cell phones and restrict the amount of time they spend with the device. Pong Cases are a great place to start because they direct wireless energy away from your children’s brain and reduce the SAR. But don’t stop there, we also suggest a variety of tactics and strategies to help further reduce their exposure to cell phone radiation. Please see our top 10 tips for reducing cell phone radiation exposure to start protecting your children today.

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Cell Phone Radiation Studies Cited:

Dosimetric Simulations of Brain Absorption of Mobile Phone Radiation—The Relationship Between psSAR and Age.
Exposure limits: the underestimation of absorbed cell phone radiation, especially in children.
Analysis of RF exposure in the head tissues of children and adults.
Yes the Children Are More Exposed to Radiofrequency Energy From Mobile Telephones Than Adults
Comparisons of peak SAR levels in concentric sphere head models of children and adults for irradiation by a dipole at 900 MHz.
Some present problems and a proposed experimental phantom for SAR compliance testing of cellular telephones at 835 and 1900 MHz.
Age-dependent tissue-specific exposure of cell phone users.
Comparison of specific absorption rate induced in brain tissues of a child and an adult using mobile phone