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Children's Radiation Exposure May Be Underestimated, New Study Suggests

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Mounting concerns about the connection between cell phones and brain cancer made headlines this September after a study published in Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine discovered that users’ exposure to radiofrequency energy may have been underestimated, especially in children.

In other words, cell phone users may be exposed to more cell phone radiofrequency energy than the current Specific Absorption Rate (“SAR”) ratings on their cell phones show.

Before a cell phone is allowed to enter the market, its SAR rate, which measures the radiofrequency energy a person is absorbing while talking on the phone, must be not exceed the “safe” limit set by the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”).

However, the study released Sept. 15 and led by Om P. Gandhi of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering University in Salt Lake City, Utah picked up on a glaring error in this process: the SAR value stamped on your cell phone is significantly smaller than its real exposure.

That’s because the standard model used to base the SAR values is inaccurate, researchers said. The Specific Anthropomorphic Mannequin (“SAM”) is actually a plastic model of the dead, and represents only the top 10 percent of U.S. military recruits in 1989—which does not show the value for a typical adult mobile phone user or a child.

The size of a user’s head plays a vital role in measuring his SAR value, Gandhi and his fellow researchers asserted. Smaller heads receive a higher exposure to radiofrequency energy, which may make them more susceptible to incurring radiation side effects. Fluid in the SAM model is not representative of different users’ brain tissue properties, either.

What the report did reveal is even more shocking: the actual SAR value for a 10-year old may be up to 153 percent higher than what is estimated by the SAM model.

Given these revelations, researchers determined that a new certification process for monitoring cell phone radiation, which takes into consideration modes of use, different head sizes and brain tissue properties, needs to be developed and implemented.

Gandhi’s findings also call to mind the update that in May 2011, the World Health Organization classified cell phones as possibly causing cancer, a link that has raise more questions in recent years.

If you developed a form of brain tumor such as glioma, acoustic neuroma, or meningioma, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, as well as any pain and suffering you may have been caused. Call an attorney at Bernstein Liebhard LLP for a free case review at 1.877.779.1414, or click here to learn more about the dangers of cell phone radiation in children.

Updated 10-05-2012 at 03:32 PM by CLoughran

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