~e; In a major change of policy, Mike Repacholi ...

From "Susan Rubel" <susan_c_chance@msn.com>
Date Tue, 12 Jul 2005 21:31:43 -0700


From the Field

July 12, 2005July 12, 2005July 12, 2005

In a major change of policy, Mike Repacholi is now advising children to reduce their radiation exposure from mobile phones. Repacholi, who leads the World Health Organization’s EMF project, has told (Canadian television) that the “WHO recommends that children should use hands-free headsets.”

In the past, Repacholi has steadfastly argued that children have no reason to protect themselves when using mobile phones. For instance, in its last fact sheet on mobile phones,
revised in 2000, the WHO stated: “Present scientific information does not indicate the need for any special precautions for use of mobile phones. If individuals are concerned, they might choose to limit their own or their children’s RF exposure by limiting the length of calls, or using ‘hands-free’ devices to keep mobile phones away from the head and body.”

Repacholi’s change of outlook comes with the opening of his workshop, being held in Ottawa, on how to deal with uncertain risks and the publication of a major series in the Toronto Star on the potential health risks associated with use of mobile phones by children, at a time they are being targeted by the marketing arms of cell phone companies.

July 11, 2005July 11, 2005July 11, 2005

The Toronto Star is running a series of articles on the growing use of mobile phones among children and whether the radiation exposure may endanger their health. The first, Kids at Risk?, appeared on Saturday, July 9, followed by Is Her Cell Phone Safe? on Sunday and Can We Reduce Cell Phone Risk for Kids? today. They feature many familiar members of the RF community, including Martin Blank, Om Gandhi, Henry Lai, Mary McBride, Jerry Phillips, Mike Repacholi, Norm Sandler and Mays Swicord —as well as Louis Slesin of Microwave News. In addition, there are a number of related stories posted on the newspaper’s Web site.

In Sunday’s piece, Star reporters Robert Cribb and Tyler Hamilton highlight the mystery of how language that downplayed an observed biological effect was added to a 1997
published by Jerry Phillips in Bioelectromagnetics. The last sentence of the paper states that the change in gene expression following exposure to mobile phone radiation, seen by Phillips, “is probably of no physiologic consequence.” But Phillips says that he did not write those words. “I have no idea how that statement got in there,” he told the Star. Phillips notes that Motorola's Swicord had originally asked for that language to be included in the paper, but he had refused. (Motorola helped pay for the study.) For his part, Swicord dismisses the allegation that he had interfered with the paper as “pure nonsense.”