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Mobile Phones And Health: Possible Adverse Health Effect
British Medical Association
09/24/01

S.A.R. (specific absorption rate) of mobile phones levels of exposure should have limits set as a precautionary measure. There is evidence to suggest there are biological effects related to the use. RFR (radio frequency radiation )in mobile phones has created anxiety that it might possibly promote or progress some forms of cancer. As well, in the case of reproductive systems, they are assessing the possible effects of RF fields on fertility and development noting it should be a priority area of research.The Stewart Group in the U.K. found a study of female rodents had a decline in their fertility at low level RF exposure. The Royal Society of Canada has concluded that the adverse effects to the eye by RFR should be treated with caution and concern. There has been concern that RFR may effect cognitive functions such as memory,reaction times and sleep processes. One study has reported a decrease in reaction times in people exposed to RFR, a finding that has been replicated by an independent group. Children`s use of mobile phones is growing dramatically and has the medical community extremely concerned. Due to their developing nervous systems, greater exposure of energy in the tissues of the head and their longer life time exposure, children may be more vulnerable to the effects of RFR.

The Stewart Report advised that children under 16 years of age should be discouraged from using mobile phones for non- essential calls. As well, the mobile phone industry should refrain from promoting the use of mobile phones by children. Mobile phone users have complained of short term adverse effects including headaches, dizziness and unpleasant heating or tingling in the head or behind the ear with symptoms increasing with greater phone use. The Stewart Group recommended that a large study of long term mobile phone users be conducted in the U.K., that studies be undertaken to assess the relationship between mobile phone use and these symptoms and a significant research program be initiated so that "the impact of mobile phone technologies on well being in its broadest sense be determined". Research is being conducted on a world wide scale according to the World Health Organization and individual countries and academic researchers are contributing to the large scale programs.

The U.K. Department of Health has established a multi-million pound program of research that will be 50% funded by private industry. All the main professional organizations have called for more research to be conducted since the possibility that radio frequency radiation may cause adverse effects can not be ruled out. Substantial allocation of funds has been contributed for on going research whose results will not be finalized for several years. These organizations include the World Health Organization, International Agency for Cancer Research, Leukemia Research Fund Center,Leeds University, Medical Physics University Research, Bristol, the European Commission, the National Radiological Protection Board and the U.K. Department of Health.