Azara Blog: Mobile phone use found yet again not to be harmful

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Date published: 2007/09/12

The BBC says:

The long-term cancer risk of mobile phone use cannot be ruled out, experts have concluded.

A major six-year research programme found a "hint" of a higher cancer risk.

But the UK Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Programme (MTHRP) did rule out short-term adverse effects to brain and cell function.

Researchers are now expanding the programme to look at phone use over 10 years, and the specific impact on children, which has not been studied.

The MTHRP programme, funded by the government and communications industry, has carried out 23 separate studies into the health impact of mobile phones, masts and base stations.
There are now 70 million mobile phone handsets in the UK, and around 50 thousand masts.

Both emit radio signals and electromagnetic fields that can penetrate the human brain, and campaigners fear that this could seriously damage human health.
A spokeswoman for the Mast Sanity campaign group said: "We believe mobiles are harmful to health, plenty of other studies have shown this.

"The programme has not really got to the bottom of this, it is too close to industry."

The anti-mobile phone people will never be convinced by any evidence about anything that does not fall into line with their narrow, partisan, anti-scientific world view. And unfortunately the BBC manages to blur two issues. The first is whether mast radio signals are harmful, and the study concluded not (although the committee wants some more research with regard to some radio signals such as TETRA). The second is whether holding a mobile phone against your head for hours on end is harmful, and just for contact reasons (pressing against the ear) one might suspect this could be a problem. But as far as the radio signals from the mobile phone, again the study concluded there was no real evidence there was any problem. Hopefully some day someone will look at the contact issue and not just the radio issue, because the report has supposedly found a "hint" of a problem (although the word "hint" is not used in the report except in a completely unrelated context). Ignoring one issue means that incorrect conclusions could easily be made.

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