UK & World News
'No Hard Proof' Of Mobile Phone Risk
A new report has found there is no hard evidence that using a mobile phone could harm your health.
The research from the Health Protection Agency's independent Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation (AGNIR) looked at hundreds of previous studies covering a range of potential health risks.
They found a large number of studies have been published on cancer risks in relation to mobile phone use.
But overall those results have not showed mobile phone use causes brain tumours or any other type of cancer.
The study found that driving while using a mobile phone remains the one established health risk of mobile phones.
The report is being described as one of the most comprehensive reviews ever carried out into the exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields emitted by devices such as mobiles.
But it 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 have so far given "no indication" of any risk, the report said.
Professor Anthony Swerdlow, chairman of the 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.
He said much more information had been made available since then.
"There has now been a very large amount of research conducted, which wasn't true 10 years ago, and we have much firmer information than we had on several areas, for instance symptoms, cognitive effects, brain tumours, than we had then," he said.
"There is no convincing evidence that radiofrequency exposure causes health effects in adults or in children but beyond 15 years for mobile phones, we have to say we have little or no information.
"I think it is important therefore, to some extent, to keep an eye out on this, which we will do into the future."
The Health Protection Agency said it would continue to advise a "precautionary" approach.
Dr John Cooper, director of the HPA centre for radiation, chemical and environmental hazards, said: "As this is a relatively new technology, the HPA will continue to advise a precautionary approach and keep the science under close review.
"The HPA recommends that excessive use of mobile phones by children should be discouraged and mobile phone-specific energy absorption rates values should be clearly marked in the phone sales literature."
But Professor Denis Henshaw, emeritus professor of human radiation effects at Bristol University is calling for more caution, after one report from the Office for National Statistics found the number of brain tumours has doubled since 1999.
There is no proof it is because of mobile phones, but Professor Henshaw wants more warnings.
He told Sky News: "It is a bit of an experiment, mobile phones are being let loose on five billion people on our planet without any proper checks as to their potential effects.
"Just as we have labels on cigarette packets warning about the adverse effects of smoking, then people should be aware of the advice in mobile phone instruction books not to use them too heavily."