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The International Commission on Electromagnetic Safety announces a CAMPAIGN FOR SAFER CELL PHONE USE, especially for teens, young children, infants and pregnant women.

Are Cell Phones Safe? How Teens Can Avoid Risks

teens with cellphones

Are cell phones safe? Why do some nations advise that children not use cell phones? Growing numbers of scientific reports find that heavy users of cell phones face increased risks of brain tumors, reduced sperm count and other serious health problems.

Here are some important questions that teens may want to ask themselves:

You may be wondering…
• What makes my teenage brain more at risk to cell phone radiation?
• Why haven’t I heard about this issue before?
• What is the effect of wireless antennas, wireless networks and cell phones on my developing body?
• What can I do about it?
• Why would I want to do something about it?

View the videos:

“Cell Phones: Teens in the Drivers Seat” (1' 12'')
A Public Service Announcement. With Dr. Raymond Neutra, M.D. PhD, MPH.

“Cell Phones: Just Like Cigarettes?” (6' 05'')
Shows teens talking with teens about cell phone health risks and offering safety tips for safer use.

“Expert EMF Workshop at San Leandro High School.” (37' 37'')
Moderated by Ari Dolid, a teacher at San Leandro High School and advisor to the student led Social Justice Academy, and Elizabeth Kelley, Executive Director of ICEMS. Includes formal presentations by Dr. Magda Havas, Dr. Henry Lai and Dr. Raymond Neutra.


“Small Group Discussion: safer cell phone use” (26' 12'')
An informal conversation between the experts and some of the students. Ellie Marks, California Brain Tumor Association and Wafaa Aborashaad, San Leandro Healthy 800 Communities, in San Leandro, California, participated.



Why we made these educational videos for teens

Our goal is to educate and empower young people about the health risks associated with cell phone use, especially brain tumors and infertility. Medical evidence suggests that cell phones are one of the culprits causing brain tumor rates to increase, especially among infants, children and young adults. Concerned scientists warn that there is a 420% greater chance that young people who start using a cell phone before age 20 will develop a brain tumor later in life.

The European Environmental Agency, the European Parliament and many nations of the world, including the U.K., France, Russia, Sweden, Thailand, Finland, India, Israel, and Finland have issued health warnings advising that children not use cell phones. ICEMS joins medical and health societies in Germany and Austria, health practitioners and many advocacy groups worldwide in advising precautionary use, especially by young people and pregnant women.

Safer cell phone use requires these practices be followed to limit radiation exposure to brain and body
Only buy and use low EMF cell phones by finding out what the SAR (Specific Absorption Rate is, prior to purchase; limit the number and duration of calls; wear a corded headset; turn cell phones off when not in use and stow them away from your body; save longer conversations for your land line phone; do not talk or text while operating a moving vehicle; unless there is an emergency, never use cell phones in remote areas, in moving vehicles or, anyway there is limited signal availability – shown by a few bars on the phone (e.g., inside buildings or elevators or while travelling in cars, trains, buses and subways); do not place them under your pillow or near your bed while sleeping; do not allow young children and infants say “hello to Grandma”, even for a minute.

We suggest you forward these film materials to your friends and colleagues. The You Tube videos can be transmitted through social networking tools to be viewed singly or together with the EMF Workshop films on the ICEMS website as an educational program. They are suitable to be shown at school, in movie theatres, community meetings and public hearings. We would like to hear from you about how these educational films make a difference in your communities.

How we made these videos

In 2009, with major funding by the California Endowment, we produced short length educational videos, “Cell Phones: Just like Cigarettes? and “Cell Phones: Teens in the Drivers Seat”, for a young audience, mainly children and teens between the ages of 10-18. Our goal was to raise public awareness and to empower this age group to use cell phones more safely. We wrote the script in consultation with the expert advisors and some of the young people who were selected to appear in the teen video. In September, 2009, at the invitation of the San Leandro High School Social Justice Academy, in Northern California, US, we held an Expert EMF Workshop at their campus for 300 high school students and filmed it. Elizabeth Kelley, ICEMS, organized a program featuring expert scientists who made short presentations using visual materials. That event was followed by a small group discussion between some of the students and the experts where the young people spoke candidly about their use of cell phones. See film clip from a local TV station of its coverage of this workshop.

The scientific advisors who donated their time to present their knowledge about bioelectromagnetics and public health to these young people are: Raymond Neutra, MD, PhD. MPH, Director Emeritus of the California State Health Department Environmental and Occupational Health Unit, Oakland, California; Magda Havas, PhD, EMF researcher and professor in environmental sciences at Trent University in St. Peterboro, Ontario, Canada; and, Dr. Henry Lai, professor in bioengineering at the University of Washington, Washington, USA. Each of these scientists have done pioneering research and have contributed substantially over many years to advancing scientific and medical knowledge on how manmade nonionizing electromagnetic fields interact with biology.

On January 17, 2010, we held a world premiere of these videos and kicked off our Campaign for Safer Cell Phone Use in San Francisco, California USA on January 17, 2101. Dr. Devra Davis, PhD, MPH., a prominent environmental health scientist and public advocate, gave a presentation on cell phone radiation science. This workshop was sponsored by the City and County of San Francisco Environment Department and Main Library, the Environmental Health Trust, California Endowment, Teens Turning Green, California Brain Tumor Association, Healthy 880 Communities – San Leandro, San Leandro High School Social Justice Academy and other many other groups and individuals (read the press release)

We salute the students at the Social Justice Academy and the San Leandro High School teachers and administrators, all the young people who participated in the film and, the contributions of Tomorrow Media, Inc., Rough House Editorial, Inc. and the rest of film crew. Finally, we thank the California Endowment and the other funders as all those who donated time and material resources made this educational film project a success.


Background on related public policy developments.

Growing scientific and medical evidence linking cell phone use to brain tumors has brought more governments to take action to protect health and prevent disease. During 2009, a number of actions were initiated by government and nonprofits in reviewing the science and to consider a range of public policy and private initiatives to encourage solutions.

• The European Parliament adopted a major resolution on electromagnetic fields health and safety. More precautionary use of cell phones was advised, particularly by young people.
• The French National government conducted a review of cell phone radiation science. The French Senate is proposing that advertisers not market to children under 14 and primary and middle schools not allow cell phone use in the classrooms.
• The International Expert Conference on Cell Phones and Health: Public Policy Questions was held in Washington D.C. in September 2009 and was organized by Dr. Devra L. Davis, a professor in Preventive Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, NY and founder of Environmental Health Trust, with the co sponsorship by ICEMS and other key scientists and organizations from the US and other countries. See for extensive scientific background information and film footage from that meeting.
• A key U.S. Senate heath committee held a hearing on cellular phones and health at the time of the conference in Washington D.C. and heard testimony from Dr. Devra Davis and other scientists from Europe and in the United States. The U.S. Senators who heard this testimony indicated that more hearings would be held. (For a summary of the C-Span TV coverage of that hearing see below>)
• Dr. Jacqueline McGlade, director of the European Environmental Agency issued a statement at the time of that meeting to recommend actions be taken based on current evidence to protect ”particularly the exposures to children and young adults who seem to be most at risk from head tumours. Such measures would include stopping the use of a mobile phone by placing it next to the brain.” She also recommended reconsidering the scientific basis for the current EMF exposure standards, to provide effective labeling and warnings about potential risks of cell phones and conduct research, financed through a tax on the purchase and use of cell phones.
• Many national governments now warn about the use of cell phones by children, including the U, K. Russia, France, Thailand, Israel, Finland, Sweden and India. The German Medical Association and the State of Salzburg Medical Society also have issued warnings.
• In the United States, the State of Maine is considering legislation to require warning labels on all cell phones sold in that state. The Mayor and Board of Supervisors in San Francisco California USA are considering a bill that includes requiring retailers to post information on cell phone radiation emissions or, Specific Absorption Rates, as determined by the FCC. The Mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom, is urging consumers to purchase low radiation emission cell phones.


Recommended related websites where you can find more information.

Dr. Magda Havas
Environmental Health Trust
Microwave News
Moms for Safe Wireless
WiFi in Schools
Wired Child
Dr. Vini Khurana, an Australian neurosurgeon, is concerned about cellphone/brain cancer link
PEW Research Report, 2008:
More Teens On Cell Phones


Press coverage

January 25, 2010
“Are Cell Phones Safe? How to Avoid Risk” by Beth Greer, Supernatural Mom, January 25, 2010.

September 14, 2009
Are Cell Phones Safe? Dr. John Bucher, Associate Director of the National Toxicology Program at the National Institute of Health agreed with U.S. Senators at the September 14, 2009 hearings on Capitol Hill that cell phones DO pose a greater risk for brain tumors to teenagers.
Go to

Official U.S. National Institute of Health Press Release describing what Dr. Bucher told the U.S. Senators at the September 14, 2009 hearing on cell phone radiation science, including a fact sheet.
Go to



• How Susceptible Are Genes to Mobile Phone Radiation? State of the Research – Endorsements of Safety and Controversies – Self-Help Recommendations. Articles by Franz Adlkofer, Igor Y. Belyaev, Karl Richter, Vladislav M. Shiroff. Effects of Wireless Communication Technologies. A Brochure Series by the Competence Initiative for the Protection of Humanity, Environment and Democracy.

• Prohibid que los niños se acerquen a mí: Infancia y móviles

• Wireless Networks (WiFi) EMF Facts Consultancy Consumer Health and Safety Advice, 2009

• Veilig Mobiel Bellen, Netherlands

• Kinder, Handys und Mobilfunkstrahlung



• Cellular Telephone Russian Roulette by the late Robert C. Kane, PhD.


September 15, 2009 hearings on cell phone radiation science before the U.S. Senate Appropriations Health Subcommittee
10 minute summary of these hearings


Full Senate hearing on cell phone radiation science, 9/15/09

2009 Senate Cell Phone Hearing Part 1

2009 Senate Cell Phone Hearing Part 2

2009 Senate Cell Phone Hearing Part 3

2009 Senate Cell Phone Hearing Part 4

2009 Senate Cell Phone Hearing Part 5

2009 Senate Cell Phone Hearing Part 6

2009 Senate Cell Phone Hearing Part 7

2009 Senate Cell Phone Hearing Part 8

2009 Senate Cell Phone Hearing Part 9

2009 Senate Cell Phone Hearing Part 10

2009 Senate Cell Phone Hearing Part 11

Our You Tube videos are posted at

Reducing Cell Phone Risks: The Porto Alegre Declaration & the Precautionary Principle.





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