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France thinks about quashing advertising of cellphones to kids

January 7, 2009 | 12:41 pm


France is floating the idea of banning advertising of mobile phones to kids 12 and under, according to Bloomberg News. It's not to make them pay attention to their homework or even to ensure that they stop texting while riding their bicycles along scenic French roadways. The proposed law was motivated by legislators' concerns about the effects of cellphone usage on kids' developing bodies.

Depending on where you look on the Internet, it's possible to find studies that say that mobile phone use raises the risk of brain cancer in children and that short-term mobile phone use does not cause cancer. France seems to be siding with the former, or at least is playing it safe.

Kids under 13 may be "more sensitive because their bodies are still developing," according to a statement released by France's environment ministry. The ministry did not make reference to any difference between children speaking on cellphones and merely using them to text, which is probably less dangerous than having a phone pressed to their face for hours a day.

-- Alana Semuels

Photo credit: Derek Olson via Flickr