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Scientist raises new mobile phone fears
LONDON, England (Reuters) - Children who use mobile phones risk suffering memory loss, sleeping disorders and headaches, according to research published in the medical journal The Lancet.
Physicist Dr Gerard Hyland raised new fears over radiation caused by mobile phones and said under 18-year-olds, who represent a quarter of Britain's 25 million mobile users, were more vulnerable because their immune systems were less robust.
"Radiation is known to affect the brain rhythms and children are particularly vulnerable," Hyland said.
"The effect of microwaves from a mobile phone is a bit like interference on a radio. It has an impact on the stability of cells in the body.
The main effects are neurological, causing headaches, memory loss and also sleeping disorders," he added. He said there was too much uncertainty about the potential dangers of mobile phones.
"If mobile phones were a type of food, they simply would not be licensed because there is so much uncertainty surrounding their safety," he said.
Hyland's findings came as the government launched a new task force to study the possible risks of mobile phones.
A government-commissioned inquiry into potential risks said in May that children should be discouraged from using mobile phones.
Fresh evidence about the impact of mobile phones on children's brains follows research in early November showing that hands-free mobile phone kits can significantly boost the brain's exposure to radiation.
Scientists agree that electromagnetic radiation from mobile phones warms brain tissue although it remains unproven that they pose a human health risk.
But Hyland said the real risk was from low intensity radiation known as non-thermal radiation, not brain heating.
Copyright 2000 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Mobile phones: Fresh doubts over safety of hands-free kits
National Radiological Protection Board
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