This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.
Bethel School District parents upset about the prospect of two Clearwire wireless towers on school property have the wrong target in their sights. They should be more concerned about possible long-term effects of cell-phone use on their children’s health.
While there’s no evidence that energy from wireless communications towers has negative health effects, at least some research points to potential problems with heavy cell phone use, particularly in children because their brains are still developing.
Just last week, a National Institutes of Health researcher publishing findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association that cell-phone use does affect brain activity. University of Washington bioengineer Henry Lai says the study shows that talking on a cell phone pressed to the ear “is not really safe.”
Even scientists who acknowledge that several more years will be needed to gauge whether long-term cell-phone use can lead to brain damage or cancer say they personally use a hands-free device to make calls just to be on the safe side. Those devices reduce the amount of radiofrequency energy exposure to the brain because the antenna, the source of RF energy, is not placed against the head. Read more »