What is the Right Age to Give Children a Mobile Phone?

Mobile devices are becoming increasingly popular in modern lives. Most teens — 85% of those aged 14 to 17 — have cell phones. So do 69% of 11-14 year olds and 31% of kids aged 8-10, according to a 2010 survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation. The average age at which kids get their first phones has declined steadily during the past decade. For parents, it becomes an important, and sometimes difficult decision to make when to give their kids a mobile phone.
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New Warnings on Wireless Radiation from BioInitiative 2012 Report

Five years after the initial BioInitiative 2007 Report, the BioInitiative Working Group issued an updated 2012 Report to provide a strengthened rationale for biologically-based exposure standards for low-intensity electromagnetic radiation. Prepared by 29 world-recognized experts in science and public health policy from 10 countries, the BioInitiative 2012 Report reviewed over 1800 new scientific studies and shows reinforced evidence of risk from chronic exposure to low-intensity electromagnetic fields (EMF) and to wireless technologies (radiofrequency radiation (RFR) including microwave radiation). The Report concludes that existing public safety limits are inadequate to protect public health, and that new, biologically-based public safety limits are needed.

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Pong FCC Filing on Device Testing Guidelines

By now, you have probably noticed that not all smartphone cases are the same. A Pong case, for example, is the only mobile device case proven to reduce your exposure to cell phone radiation while still protecting your signal strength.

And while all Pong cases are rigorously tested by our researchers in state-of-the-art facilities, did you know that most mobile phone cases are neither tested nor factored into the device equipment authorization process, even though most people use a case with their mobile device?

As a result, the “radiation profile” of a given device with a case may be drastically different compared to the same device without a case, often dramatically increasing Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) and decreasing Total Radiated Power (TRP).

At Pong, we think that consumers deserve to know how their mobile device cases affect their exposure to unwanted radiation, which is why we filed a letter with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) asking it to “seek information on ways that the device testing guidelines can be improved to more accurately reflect predominant consumer behavior.” We think that test data should include the presence of a case, which would more accurately determine (among other things) “real SAR,” especially since most consumers use cases (as many as 85% according to many sources).

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Sheryl Crow’s Brain Tumor Caused by Cell Phone Radiation?

Sheryl Crow was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor called meningioma in 2011, and suspects that her cell phone use caused it.  Crow told Katie Couric on her new talk show Katie, “There are no doctors that will confirm that . . . . [But] I [used to spend] hours on the old archaic cell phones.”  Crow also disclosed that the tumor is near where she often held her phone.  While there is no definitive conclusion that cell phone radiation can cause a brain tumor, increasing scientific evidence supports Crow’s suspicions.

In May 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified radio frequency (RF) radiation from cell phones as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”  The WHO made the decision after reviewing numerous studies on this subject, including the Interphone Study—a large, international study coordinated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and completed in February 2012.  It showed an increased risk of a certain type of brain tumor, called glioma, from “heavy” use of cell phones—defined in the study as just 1,640 hours of lifetime cell phone use.  The Interphone Study also investigated the association between cell phone radiation and meningioma, the very kind of brain tumor that Crow suffers.  Although the study broadly concluded that “overall, no increase in risk of either glioma or meningioma was observed in association with use of mobile phones,” its categorized results revealed a nearly 4 times increase[1] in the risk of meningioma for short-term heavy users [2] who used cell phones primarily on one side of the head [1].  Crow’s comments indicate that she likely qualifies for the category of users with increased risk.

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Explaining the Effects of Cell Phone Radiation on the Brain

At Pong, we believe that cell phone radiation is a serious issue. While research is still being carried on to determine the effects that radiation has on our brains and bodies, we think it is important to follow the “precautionary principle” recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) in May 2011.

Recently, CNN began a series called “Our Mobile Society” in which the cable news organization examined the impact of mobile technology on our lives. While there are many fascinating ways in which mobile devices have changed how we communicate, work and share information, at Pong we care about protecting people from the potentially harmful effects of cell phone radiation exposure. Which is why were encouraged to see Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent and a practicing neurosurgeon, talking about cell phone radiation.

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Are Cell Phones Safe for Kids?

There has been much debate over the right age a child should have a mobile phone. While there is no right or wrong answer, there are many things to consider. A recent TIME Magazine article discussed some of the factors that may influence when you get your son or daughter a cell phone. Obviously, the one that is most relevant to Pong is the threat of cell phone radiation.

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