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Cell Phone On Your Belt Brings Radiation To Liver And Kidneys
The Sunday Mirror
07/10/99

Leaving a mobile phone clipped to your waist leads to a hotspot of radiation being pumped into the liver and kidneys. Yet thousands of people are now attaching mobiles to their belts as they switch to hands-free kits thinking they are safer. The changeover came after the Sunday Mirror warned that the brain can be affected by harmful rays if users spend too long with their mobiles clamped to their ear.

Yet a new series of tests we exclusively commissioned, have revealed that using a phone while it is clipped to your belt could be even more dangerous. Tests on a dummy torso packed with chemicals designed to mimic the body showed the area around the liver and kidneys being flooded with energy. The bright red area is the spot nearest the mobile phone's antenna and earpiece.

Alasdair Philips, of the consumer group Powerwatch, said: "We could be looking at a health time bomb waiting to explode. "There is concern that they may intensify radiation exposure to the ear canal. Using a hands-free kit and making a call with a mobile phone clipped to your belt also means the phone will generally be working at a higher power level.

"That's because it is generally harder to transmit from waist-height than head-height. But there's a lot of body tissue in that area which has good conductivity and absorbs radiation more quickly than the head. "The risk would be to the organs which are situated in that part of the body - the liver and the kidneys.

He added: "When a call comes in, people with hands-free kits should unhook their phone and hold it about a metre away from their body.

"And even if the phone is only on standby, if it is clipped on to your belt, you should make sure it's not in the same place."

"People who use hands-free kits tend to spend more time on the phone because they think they are safer. But not only does the body absorb more radiation than the head, the phone has to work harder to pick up a signal if it is down by the waist, so it kicks out more radiation."

A spokesman for the Federation Of The Electronics Industry, which represents mobile phone makers, said any safety worries were always taken seriously.

But he added: "There is no substantive evidence against mobile phones." A spokesman for mobile phone company Orange agreed. "There's no substantiated evidence which makes a link between using mobile hand sets and long-term health risks," he said.