No health risk from mobile phones, says UK govt

UK Health Protection Agency says research review shows no health risks from mobile phone usage

The UK HPA conducted an independent review of studies into health risks from mobile phones.

The UK HPA conducted an independent review of studies into health risks from mobile phones.

Published Thursday, 26 April 2012
By Mark Sutton

The UK's Health Protection Agency (HPA) has said that there is no evidence linking mobile phone usage to ill effects on health.

The agency's independent Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation (AGNIR) has completed the largest ever review of studies into mobile exposure, and reported that it found no links between low frequency radiation and health problems such as brain tumours.

The advisory group did advised that children should avoid excessive use of mobiles, and urged further monitoring to investigate possible long term effects, noting that as mobiles only became widespread in the UK since the 1990s, studies only extended back about 15 years.

Professor Anthony Swerdlow, chairman of the Group, concluded: "There are still limitations to the published research that preclude a definitive judgment, but the evidence overall has not demonstrated any adverse effects on human health from exposure to radiofrequency fields below internationally accepted guideline levels."

AGNIR previously reviewed studies on mobile usage in 2003, but said that there was a significant amount of new research conducted since then, all of which backed up the conclusion that there are no health risks.

The group said that research had found no links with brain tumours or other cancer risks, no effect on cardiovascular health and no risk to fertility.

Studies also showed that the presence of RF fields cannot be detected by people, and including those who claim to be sensitive to RF fields.

Dr John Cooper, director of the HPA's Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards, said: "There has been considerable new scientific evidence published since the last AGNIR report in 2003, and this report further consolidates the evidence base on which the HPA issues its advice.

"The HPA's position on mobile phone technologies is in line with the AGNIR's findings. There is still no convincing scientific evidence that RF field exposures from mobile phones and other radio technologies affect human health at exposure levels below internationally agreed guidelines.

"However, 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 (SAR) values should be clearly marked in the phone sales literature."