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2 April 2007 | Printer friendly

A mobile safe enough for children - new market for phone industry and new concern for health experts

Walt Disney Co. has launched Disney Mobile, a mobile phone service for children and parents. Thanks to the new service, children will be able to download Disney games, ring tones, and wallpaper for their mobile phones and parents will be able to track their children thanks to the global positioning system service.

The launch of Disney Mobile is contrary to Disney’s position from 2000. At that time, Disney canceled the licensing scheme for Nokia Corp. not allowing the use of Mickey’s and Minnie’s image on cell-phones due to uncertainty about health risks.

In 2000, a Disney spokesman said that Disney wouldn’t proceed with a new cell phone plan for children until there was reliable scientific evidence establishing the absence of any link between mobile phones and cancer risk or neurological disorder risk for children.

Although the discussion on the extent of health hazard of mobile phones for children is still ongoing, Disney has expanded its services and introduced Disney Mobile. The scientific community has not yet answered the question of whether cell phones are safe, especially for children.

Britain’s advisory body on radiological hazards, the Health Protection Agency (HPA), has issued precautionary advice urging parents to limit use of cell phones by children. The HPA recommends that younger children use mobiles only for essential purposes.

The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that there is no concrete data showing any danger coming from cell phone use. "Disney is relying on the FDA." says Disney Mobile spokesperson Anthony Sprauve.

There is no widely accepted scientific proof that radio-frequency (RF) energy emitted by mobile phones is safe. Researchers and doctors worry that children could be more vulnerable to exposure from cell phones given their thinner skulls and still-developing brains. The scientific debate on consequences from the radiation of the wireless phones beaming at the brains of children is ongoing.

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