Cell Phone Industry Marketing to Children

With all the controversy regarding the safety of cell phone use, it’s quite disturbing that cell phone manufacturers are still launching marketing campaigns targeted towards pre-teens. Eighty-one percent of independent, non-industry-funded research show biological effects from cell phone radiation, yet wireless companies in North America are aggressively targeting children with an array of cartoonish phones featuring the images of Barbie, Hillary Duff and Mickey Mouse or video clips of Bugs Bunny. Even Walt Disney Co., which backed off plans to sell cartoon character-branded cellphones in 2000 amid public concerns about potential risks for young kids, recently announced a new line of cellphones aimed at children as young as 8!

What is happening here? Tyler Hamilton and Robert Cribb of the Toronto Star newspaper sought to take a closer look in a series of investigative reports about this sensitive issue. What they uncovered is cause for concern. Here are some of their reports:
Kids’ Cellphone Use in Spotlight (Toronto Star, July 14, 2005)
Public calls for greater caution around children’s use of cellphones are
emerging as scientists raise questions about the impact of radio frequencies
on young heads and bodies.
Limit Cell Use: Health Officer (Toronto Star, July 12, 2005)
Canada’s top public health official (equivalent to US Surgeon General)
urges caution regarding cell phone use in a WHO conference address.
Is Her Cellphone Safe? (Toronto Star, July 10, 2005)
Some scientists complain about corporate interests meddling with science
in getting the truth out about potential risks of cell phone use.
Kids at Risk? (Toronto Star, July 9, 2005)
A close look at the potential long term impact of cell phone use, especially
among children and teens. Concern raised regarding the wireless industry’s
marketing towards children.