Belgium bans sale of mobile phones designed for children

Summary

From 1 March, mobile phones designed to attract young children can no longer be sold in Belgium because of radiation levels considered dangerous

“Increases the risk of brain cancer,” says radiation expert

From 1 March, it will be illegal in Belgium to sell mobile phones designed specifically for children below the age of seven. The government is banning the sale of and advertisements for mobile phones in the form of a toy, such as a cuddly bear, meant for children younger than seven.

Guy Vandenbosch, radiation expert at the University of Leuven (KU Leuven) supports the measure. “Using a cell phone increases the risk of brain cancer for young children because of the radiation that is released,” he told De Morgen. 

The law also stipulates that the radiation value (SAR) of each mobile phone has to be mentioned when it is sold or being advertised. Each mobile phone will come with the statement: “Think about your health, use your mobile phone moderately, call with earphones and choose a device with a low SAR value.” 

Nearly 4% of GSM users in Belgium make calls totalling more than 30 minutes per day, which is considered the risk threshold. Almost all children in Belgium have a mobile phone by age 12, and two out of three 10-year-olds possess one.

From 1 March, it will be illegal in Belgium to sell mobile phones designed specifically for children below the age of seven.

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