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A new report by a group of British scientists casts more doubt on the safety of cell phones

A new report by a group of British scientists casts more doubt on the safety of cell phones. The 11-month study warns of the potential harms to younger cell phone users in particular. Because their bodies are still developing, they are considered more at risk to possible "biological effects." Exposure to radiation may come from either individual handheld or hands-free units or base stations.

Britain’s National Radiological Protection Board first established guidelines on acceptable levels of radiation back in 1993, when cell phone technology was still in its infancy. Now, critics fear that the explosion of cellular use is moving too fast to ensure adequate safety measures. Over last year’s Christmas shopping season alone, about four million cell phones were sold in Britain, bringing the total number of mobiles in the country to more than 25 million. Here in Canada, there are about seven million cell phones in use.

Among its recommendations, the parliament-commissioned report calls for:

  • Public notification of potential health hazards of cell phones
  • Radiation emission levels from various cell phones to be made public
  • Not using cell phones while driving
  • Restricting cell phone use, especially for children
  • Public notification on locations of cell phone base towers
  • Restricted areas for tower use, including schools, residential areas and hospital
  • Long-term follow-up of workers occupationally exposed to RF radiation.

Milt Bowling of the Burnaby-based EMRadiation Task Force applauds the study’s cautious approach. "This report represents the first truly independent research project not affected by vested interests," says Bowling.

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