- There is increasing concern over the
health risks from mobile phones
- The British Government has commissioned
a study using human guinea pigs to test whether the prolonged use of mobile
phones carries serious health risks.
- Eighteen volunteers are taking part in
the study which is part of the Department of Health's radiation protection
- The tests, which are being carried out
at Bristol University, are designed to detect short-term memory, reaction
times and awareness in mobile phone users.
- The volunteers will spend between 20
minutes to half-an-hour with a handset fixed to their heads, and carry
out a series of tasks. Some of the handsets will be dummy ones, others
will be real.
- It is part of a bigger project at Bristol
University looking into the effects of microwave radiation
on human beings.
- Some scientists have suggested that radiation
from mobile handsets could cause brain tumours, cancer, anxiety and memory
loss, and there has been increasing concern amongst the public about the
- Dr Alan Preece of Bristol University,
who is conducting the research, wrote in an article last year: "The
facts are that cell phones emit either continuous microwaves at about 900
MHz or pulsed microwaves at 1.8 GHz and these must cause a small amount
of tissue heating, including brain tissue."
- Dr Preece says he has had a lot of enquiries
from people worried about the effects of mobile phones.
- "There has been a lot of anecdotal
evidence of people feeling weak, having memory problems and depression."
- Official figures published last November
showed that nearly one in five households in the UK possessed a mobile