Mobility

French Health Ministry recommends using moderation with cell phones

According to a recent warning by the French Health Ministry, people -- particularly young people -- should avoid excessive cell phone use.

According to a recent warning by the French Health Ministry, people -- particularly young people -- should avoid excessive cell phone use. While studies haven't proven any adverse health affects from mobile phones, the ministry recommends using caution (and moderation) when it comes to talking on these handheld devices.

Here's an excerpt from the story on Reuters:

"As the hypothesis of a risk cannot be entirely excluded, precaution is justified," the ministry said.

"One should use a mobile phone with good judgment, avoid calling when reception is poor, or during high-speed travel, and finally, keep the telephone away from sensitive areas of the body by using a hands-free kit," the ministry said.

I completely agree that young people shouldn't constantly talk on cell phones, but how can you truly measure "excessive" mobile phone use? Is that based on minutes per day, week, or month? I talk on my cell phone quite a bit, so my opinion might be quite different from someone who uses their cell phone sparingly. When it come to cell phones, how do you define excessive use?

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Sonja Thompson has worked for TechRepublic since October of 1999. She is currently a Senior Editor and the host of the Smartphones and Tablets blogs.

8 comments
Tig2
Tig2

Excessive use is while driving- there will never be a conversation so critical that I can't pull over to have it, while at a movie, play, or any other audience event, during a conversation with anyone else unless I have warned the other person that I am expecting a call, during a meeting unless the culture permits it and I have warned other meeting participants that I am expecting a call, during a job interview, and when boarding an airplane. I think that the cell has introduced a new level of generalized rudeness that this society frankly doesn't need. I grew up in a time when I didn't need to be connected 24x7 and I don't see a need to be now. My cell can be turned off or on vibrate while driving as I won't answer it anyway. Same for any audience event. I won't answer it until intermission or the conclusion of the event so why allow it to bother everyone else? And the same logic applies to every other situation I mentioned. Where young people are concerned, many schools forbid carrying a cell phone to class, much less using it. This is not a bad thing in my opinion. My state has made it illegal for a person under 21 to use a cell in any manner while driving- yes, this includes texting. And on New Years Day, a young woman killed a Deputy's wife because she had been drinking and was texting while driving. She was also driving the wrong way on the highway. She hit the Deputy's car head on, killing his wife who was on ride-along with him. Excessive in that case was measured in fatality, but that is only one of many similar cases. "One should use a mobile phone with good judgment, avoid calling when reception is poor, or during high-speed travel, and finally, keep the telephone away from sensitive areas of the body by using a hands-free kit,"? the ministry said. The words "good judgment" are key here. Edited to remove odd formatting characters.

Photogenic Memory
Photogenic Memory

It's a part of mine. With that being said; what am I suceptible too? Hearing loss ( that's a given ), brain cancer ( god, I hope not ), a bad attitude ( it's too late, LOL! ). I hope they come up with some hard documentation and standardization. The medical community probably won't acknowledge this until there's some money to made. In addition; businesses and insurance agencies might not want cover these types illnesses caused by them. For the most part; you're on your own here in America.

Sonja Thompson
Sonja Thompson

One day when I was wearing a Verizon headset, electricity zapped me directly in my ear. I've been a little nervous about that ever since, but so far my new Jawbone hasn't given me any problems. No, talking on the phone isn't a part of my job (unless you count podcast interviews), but I sure do it a lot! (if I had a nickle for every minute...) ;-)

Photogenic Memory
Photogenic Memory

You should've have made Verizon pay for your medical bills, girlfriend?! They might have thrown some free service your way too! Who am I kidding? The cheap bastards! But their phones look soooo cool. Hehe.

drivenn
drivenn

I've had that too but with "regular" headphones. Freaked me out so I switched phones and it hasn't happened since.

Marc Bruce
Marc Bruce

I have always had a weird feeling whenever i talk on a mobile phone, it feels like that side of my skull has pressure on it when im talking... hard to explain but I have tried to limit my use of them and try to always use speakerphone.

armchairmusician
armchairmusician

I remember when I first started using a cell - the health factor was in the forefront... Then it all just fizzled into the background. I believe placing any electronic device next to your head for prolonged periods can't be good. It bothers me too. Headset or speaker phone are my preferences.

Sonja Thompson
Sonja Thompson

The French Health Ministry warns against excessive cell phone use. When it come to cell phones, how do you define excessive use?

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