The second phase of the survey was conducted in 2013 on school children. Two primary schools and a secondary school, with a total of 582 students at the age of 10 to 15, have been invited to complete the survey. Among them, 309 were boys and 273 were girls; 383 were in primary five to six, and 199 were secondary one to three students. Results showed that 488 students (84%) were regular users of smartphones, even higher than the number of desktop computer users (76%). Moreover, 184 people (%) used a tablet computer on a regular basis. Among the student respondents, 180 persons (30%) reported using smartphones for 1-4 hours every day while 161 persons (%) reported musculoskeletal discomforts related to the use of electronic devices. Close to 80% (127 persons) reported neck pain, 30% (55 persons) had shoulder pain, and 51% (85 persons) had wrist and finger pain symptoms.
WHO is continuing these studies in collaboration with the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), in the context of the ‘Stockholm Convention’, an international agreement to reduce emissions of certain persistent organic pollutants (POPs), including dioxins. A number of actions are being considered to reduce the production of dioxins during incineration and manufacturing processes. WHO and UNEP are undertaking global breast milk surveys, including in many developing countries, to monitor trends in dioxin contamination across the globe and the effectiveness of measures implemented under the Stockholm Convention.
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