Cyprus National Committee on Environment and Children’s Health
The 16 Practical Rules
- Buy mobile phones with a very low radiation value and an external antenna connector, if possible.
- Mobile phones, tablets, laptops are not toys or a means for entertainment for children. They can be used by children only as simple devices, i.e. on flight mode and with Wi-Fi, bluetooth and mobile data turned off. Games, songs etc., should be downloaded and saved in advance by parents. However, their use must still be limited and proportionate to the age of the child. Minimum use for children at preschool age, and no use at all for infants and children below 2 years of age.
- In general, keep calls short and as few as possible. Use a landline or write an SMS.
- “Distance is your friend”. Keep the phone away from your body and head during dialing and maintain at least the minimum distance recommended in the user guide. Take advantage of the built-in speakerphone or use a headset!
- Do not keep the phone directly on your body when using a headset or the built-in speakerphone. Pregnant women should be especially cautious. In men, mobile phones pose a risk to their fertility when carried in the pant pocket. Persons with electronic implants (pacemaker, insulin pump, etc.) must pay particular attention to distance. If no other option is available, use the outer coat pocket, a backpack or a purse/handbag to carry the phone!
- Do not use mobiles or smartphones in vehicles (car, bus, train). Without an external antenna, the radiation inside the vehicle is higher. In addition, the user is distracted and becomes a nuisance to others on public transport!
- No texting while driving – ever! The distraction causes you to become a danger to yourself and a danger to other road users!
- Make phone calls at home and at work via a hardwired network.
- Work offline more often or put your phone in airplane mode. For functions such as listening to music, camera, alarm clock, calculator or offline games, you do not always need an Internet connection!
- Fewer apps means less radiation. Minimize the number of apps and disable the most unnecessary background services on your smartphone. Disabling “mobile services”/“data network mode”/Wi-Fi turns the smartphone into a conventional mobile phone. You can still be reached, but you avoid a lot of unnecessary radiation from background data traffic! Teenagers in particular need to be cautious.
- Avoid making calls in places with poor reception (basement, elevator and the like). In such instances, a mobile phone increases its transmission power. When there is poor reception, use a headset or the speakerphone instead!
- Buy mobile phones with a very low SAR value and an external antenna connector, if possible!
- Internet access via a hardwired connection such as LAN (e.g. via ADSL, VDSL, fiber optics) does not emit radiation: it is fast and secure. Constantly radiating DECT cordless phones, Wi-Fi access points, data sticks and LTE modems should be avoided! This should be especially avoided in home and schools. Wi-Fi routers cause passive exposure to non-users. A distance of at least 4m up to 10m should be kept from places where children are playing, staying or sleeping. Wi-Fi should always be kept: switched off when not in use, especially at night or when pregnant woman and children are nearby.
- Chatting and phone calls over wired internet is recommended
- Protect pregnant women and children from “passive exposure”, by keeping a distance of at least 1 meter while on the mobile phone. When using wireless internet (Wi-Fi or mobile data), the distance kept should be as far as possible. Devices such as mobile phones, laptops or tablets with wireless connection must be kept away from a pregnant woman’s belly or from a woman holding a child in her arms. Under no circumstance should a pregnant woman or a child sit near a router or in between a router and their computer. In general, when parents hold their children in their arms or are close to them, they should not use or hold their mobile phones or work with wireless devices and they should not place the mobile phone on or close to the child’s stroller. The risk is higher if the mobile device is connected to the internet via Wi-Fi or mobile data.
- Beware of wireless digital baby monitors because of potential risks of irreversible damage to the infant’s brain development. Analogue-type or wired devices are the safest. Digital devices should at least be without video capacity and be “voice activated” (non-continuous transmission). In any case, any device should not be placed in the child’s cot, but at a distance of at least 2 meters!
Nicosia 2017 Declaration Position Paper on Electromagnetic Radiation and Radiofrequency Radiation in English
Don’t Irradiate Me” Cyprus Children’s Health Campaign to Reduce Direct and Passive Wireless Radiation Exposure to Children. The new safety campaign involves posters, leaflets and large scale signs on buses.
- Cyprus Children’s Health and Wireless Poster for Bus Greek, Poster for Bus English
- Cyprus Children’s Health and Wireless Leaflet Greek,
- Cyprus Committee Brochure (16 page )on How to reduce Wireless at Home in Greek
- The Cyprus National Committee on Environment and Children’s Health http://paidi.com.cy/
The Archbishop Makarios III Hospital hospital has launched a project to minimize cell phone and wireless radiation exposures.
- Wi-Fi is disabled and replaced with ethernet connections in the Intensive Care Unit and Neonatal unit.
- Parents are educated to keep cell phones away from children and out of the pediatric units.
The Campaign is a cooperation between the Archbishop Makarios III Hospital (NAM III) and the Cyprus Committee on the Environment and Children’s Health (CyCECH) with the active support of the Executive Director of the Archbishop Makarios III Hospital, Dr. A. Neophytou, the Director of the Pediatrics Department, Dr. A. Elia. It is a collaboration of Dr. Andreas Sergis and Dr Antonis Kleanthous and the nursing staff of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).