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U.K. Gov. Bans Cell Phones in all schools
The Sun, UK Press

TEACHERS have been ordered to ban their pupils from using their mobile phones amid rising safety fears. UK Education secretary David Blunkett has taken the unusual step of writing to ALL schools in England and Wales. Mr Blunkett said mobile phones should only be used by pupils under 16 in EMERGENCIES.

A spokesman for Mr Blunkett said: "We felt we had to issue guidance on the widespread use of mobile phones in schools. "The department of Health is taking the lead but we have a responsibility where pupils are concerned. We felt we had to get the message across that the non-essential use of mobile phones should be discouraged."

Mr Blunkett's order to schools follows an investigation led by ex-Government chief scientist Sir William Stewart earlier this year. He warned that children could be susceptible to damage from radiation because their immune system is not fully developed. He also pointed out that the younger the child, the more years they could be exposed to radiation.

The report backed claims that minor health complaints like headaches, earaches and skin problems may be linked to mobiles.

DISNEY bosses last night dropped all links with the mobile industry over health fears for youngsters. They withdrew permission for cartoon characters such as Mickey Mouse to be used to promote the phones' phenomenal sales. Their decision came on the day a British scientist warned that youngsters who use mobile phones risk suffering memory loss, sleeping disorders and other health problems.

Children are particularly vulnerable to radiation penetration, said Dr Gerard Hyland of Warwick University, because their skulls are smaller and thinner, making it easier for the waves to get through. The Walt Disney Company said it will stop licensing cartoon favourites for mobiles - Mickey and Minnie Mouse appear on face plates that can be attached to phones - because there were gaps in knowledge about safety.

John Singh, spokesman for Disney Consumer Products, said "Because the well-being of our customers is our priority, we have decided to discontinue the licensing of our characters for use on cellular telephones until there is reliable scientific evidence establishing the absence of any such risk."

Cell Phones, Risk to Children
From the Daily Mail, UK Press
CHILDREN should make fewer and shorter mobile phone calls because they are most vulnerable to harmful radiation, a Government report concludes today.

A wide-ranging study by 12 experts may go as far as asking companies to place health warnings on their products. Today's report will recommend limits to the length and number of calls made by children and caution mobile phone companies about the dangers of targeting their products at the young.

Ministers are expected to order urgent new guidelines in response. Mobile phones are now a 'must have' accessory for fashion minded teenagers and market analyst NOP estimates around 430,000 of their users are between the ages of seven and 16.

The Stewart Inquiry, led by Professor Sir William Stewart, is also expected to advise that mobile phone transmission masts should be kept away from schools, hospitals and residential areas. But there was criticism last night over the timing of its publication, after the recent ?22 billion government auction of licences for the next generation of mobile phones.

Liberal Democrat MP Phil Willis, a leading campaigner, warned that the auction meant ministers were likely to go soft on the industry. Phone companies were privately fuming. "The government must have been aware that these findings could harm the value placed on the Third Generation mobile licences," said one insider. "It was duty-bound to make the details available as soon as possible."

Children have been seen as most vulnerable to mobile to mobile phone radiation because they are still growing and their immune systems are not fully developed. "We have been warning of the dangers to children for two years," said scientist and mobile phone expert Dr Roger Coghill. See the Phone Dome commissioned research by Dr Coghill.