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Mobile phone technology probe

12th September 2007

Results from the Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Programme (MTHR) are due to be released on 19 September.

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The government and communication industry have provided £8.8n in funds for the project.
The MTHR has performed 28 individual studies investigating the impact of mobile phones and related equipment on human health.

The studies have examined the connection between childhood cancer, brain tumours and mobile technologies.

The UK is home to 70 million mobile phone handsets and 50,000 masts. Campaigners have argued that as the electromagnetic fields emitted by the devices can enter the brain, they could adversely affect human health.

The MTHR project was set up after the publication of an independent report about mobile phone safety in 2000. The report did not find a connection between mobile phone use and health risks.

However, the report's leader, Sir William Stewart, said in 2005 that the use of mobile devices by children should be "limited" and they should not be used by any child under the age of eight.

There have been numerous studies into the effect of mobile phone on health, with "mixed results".

A large study, carried out in 2006 by the Danish Institute of Cancer Epidemiology, looked at 420,000 mobile phone users. It discovered no link between mobile phone use and cancer.

A study by the Institute of Cancer Research, also said that using mobile phones did not mean a higher risk of brain cancer.

However, an American study connected mobile phone use with potential damage to male fertility. Researchers in Sweden discovered that users of mobiles for over 10 years had four times the risk of ear tumours.

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