Mobile Phones: Children

Department of Health written question – answered on 13 June 2016.

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Photo of David Anderson David Anderson Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to the advice on mobile telephone safety on the NHS Choices webpages, what the evidence base is for the recommendation that children should only use mobile telephones for essential purposes and keep all calls short.

Photo of Jane Ellison Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

Public Health England (PHE) keeps the scientific evidence regarding the effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields from mobile phones on public health under review, and advises on the measures that should be taken to protect the public.

Precautionary advice to discourage the non-essential use of mobile phones by children dates from the year 2000 and was motivated by concerns that, if there are unrecognised adverse health effects from the use of mobile phones, children may be more vulnerable. The advice was accepted by government and has been continued by Public Health England, including after its 2012 comprehensive review of research evidence, which found no convincing evidence that exposures to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields below the international guideline levels cause health effects in either adults or children. The precautionary advice is based on the potential for health effects, rather than proven identifiable evidence of harm.

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