A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

Repacholi to Kids: Use Hands-Free Sets

July 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 CTV (Canadian television) that the “WHO recommends that children should use hands-free headsets.”

In the past, Repacholi has shunned precautionary policies. He 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, No.193 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.