‘No evidence so far’ of mobile phone risks
an “EXPLOSION” in research into the issue over the past decade has revealed no convincing evidence that mobile phones damage human health, according to a review of scientific studies billed as the most comprehensive yet.
Driving while using a phone remains the one established health risk, a leading scientist said as a report on exposure to radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields emitted by devices such as mobile phones was published.
The review found that a large number of studies had been published on cancer risks in relation to mobile phone use, but overall the results had not demonstrated the use of mobile phones caused brain tumours or any other type of cancer.
However, the report from the Health Protection Agency’s (HPA) independent advisory group on non-ionising radiation (AGNIR) warned that it was “important” to continue to monitor all the evidence, as there was little information on the risks beyond 15 years from first exposure.
This should include monitoring national brain tumour trends, which had so far given “no indication” of any risk, the report recommended.
The HPA said it would continue to advise a “precautionary” approach and would keep the science under close review.
The agency recommends that “excessive” use of mobile phones by children should be discouraged, while adults should make their own choices as to whether they wish to reduce their own exposure.
Professor Anthony Swerdlow, chairman of AGNIR and an epidemiologist at the Institute of Cancer Research, said the last similar large-scale review by the group had been carried out in 2003, but since then much more information had been made available.
He said there were still limitations to the published research, which meant a “definitive judgment” could not be given, but the evidence overall had not demonstrated any adverse effects on human health from exposure to radiofrequency fields below internationally accepted guideline levels.
“There has now been a very large amount of research conducted, which wasn’t true ten years ago, and we have much firmer information.”
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