[Determining health policy for sensible mobile phone use--current world status].

Omer Itzhak Sagi*, Siegal Sadetzki

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mobile phones have become the leading communication system, with more than 4.5 billions users around the world. The sharp increase in the number of users, and its penetration to all populations, including children, has raised concern about possible adverse health effects, particularly cancer This article reviews the public health policies introduced in Israel and several other countries regarding mobile phone use in view of the lack of clarity concerning the safety of this new technology. The data show that most countries have adopted the precautionary principle as the leading guideline, recommending the use of simple and low-cost safety measures which could substantially reduce exposure to the brain and other body organs from mobile phones. These include the use of text messages, hands-free kits, and/or the loud-speaker mode of the phone. Accordingly, recommendations, guidelines, standards, and legislation aimed at the general population, drivers, state institutions and the industry have been formulated. For children, who are considered to be more susceptible to cancer development following exposure to carcinogens, there is widespread consensus for a stricter approach. In some countries, measures such as banning use of mobile phones in schools, prohibiting sales/advertisements targeted at young age groups, expanding warnings on phones/ packages, and encouraging educational campaigns have been adopted for this population. Regulations regarding phone use while driving have been instituted in most countries. In conclusion, many public health practitioners have moved from the theoretical level (adoption of the precautionary principle) to an active phase of introducing regulations, with specific emphasis to various populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-220, 306
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011


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