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Mobile phones to carry radiation labels
HELSINKI -- Mobile phone manufacturers are to begin labelling their products to show how much radiation they emit amid continuing health concerns among consumers.
Finnish Nokia, the world's largest mobile phone maker, U.S. Motorola and Sweden's Ericsson are working to develop a standard for measuring the amount of cell phone radiation that is absorbed by human tissue.
The move comes in the wake of the Stewart inquiry in Britain which published findings in May recommending tough controls be implemented, despite concluding there was no evidence of danger from mobile phone radiation.
"This is an issue consumers feel strongly about and we want them to get the relevant information," Ericsson Mobile Phones spokesman for health and safety issues Mikael Westmark said.
"With the huge increase in mobile phone users more and more people want information about the products they use."
Mobile phone use rising
There are currently 570 million mobile phone users worldwide and the figure is expected to grow to 1.4 billion in five years' time.
Nokia's Tapio Hedman said consumers can currently get the radiation absorption figures from the U.S. Federal Communication Commission.
But he said manufacturers had to agree on a single standard measurement and on how these figures could be explained simply to consumers.
There are currently two measurements -- one for Europe and one for the U.S..
"All research conducted for several years has not shown any evidence of a correlation of health effects and the use of mobile phones," Hedman said, adding all Nokia phones fulfilled relevant safety standards set by public authorities.
Ericsson plans to start labelling its phone packages with SAR (specific absorbtion rate) values by April next year, while Motorola said it expected an agreement early 2001 and would start labelling its products as soon as possible.
Earlier this month, a Maryland neurologist filed an $800 million lawsuit against several wireless providers and two umbrella organizations claiming that radiation from his cell phone was responsible for his malignant brain tumour.
Reuters contributed to this report.
Brain cancer victim sues cell-phone providers
Nokia on the Web
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