UK: Mobile phones could be a health time bomb

By Hannah Thomas  on Wednesday 9 November 2011

Experts are urging ministers to warn the public about the dangers of mobile phone use after over 200 academic studies link the devices to life-threatening conditions, including brain tumours.

In a report published yesterday, leading scientists say the Government is underplaying the enormous health risk of mobile phone use – especially in children who have smaller, thinner skulls making them more susceptible to radiation.

‘Both Government and phone companies could very easily do far more to alert the public, particularly children, to the emerging risks and safety measures,’ says the report.

Other studies have found inconclusive links to low sperm counts, behavioural problems in children whose mothers used mobile phones during pregnancy, and damage to brain cells.

Consultant neurosurgeon Kevin O’Neill, from Charing Cross Hospital, says the latency period for brain tumours is 30 years so it’s possible that the consequences of phone use is not fully known, but he says waiting for certainty of harm is a dangerous policy.

More than 70 million mobile phones are used in Britain alone and the World Health Organisation admitted in June that they may cause cancer.

Professor Denis Henshaw, from Bristol University, says: ‘The health affects of smoking, alcohol and air pollution are well known and well talked about, and it’s entirely reasonable we should be openly discussing the evidence for this, but it’s not happening.’

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