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Friday, 13 September, 2002, 10:14 GMT 11:14 UK
Levis to sell 'mobile safe' jeans
The UK government says mobiles are safe
Jean manufacturer Levi Strauss is launching a new line of trousers which it says protects against any radiation emitted by mobile phones.

The trousers, which are called Icon S-Fit, are fitted with pockets which have "anti-radiation" lining. They are expected to go on sale early next year.

The company denied it was playing on consumer fears with this new range. A spokesman said it was merely giving consumers what they wanted.


Evidence from the World Health Organization and others shows that there is no need for this lining

FEI spokeswoman
But the mobile phone industry said there was no scientific evidence to support the move and warned that the lining could stop mobile phone handsets from working properly.

There is little evidence to suggest that carrying a mobile phone in a trouser or jacket pocket is a health risk.

The UK government and many scientists say there is no risk. However, recent studies suggesting a link have raised public concerns.

Market research

Cedric Jungpeter, European communications manager for Levis, said the company decided to launch the new range after extensive market research which showed fashion conscious consumers were also health conscious.

Mr Jungpeter insisted the company was only giving consumers what they wanted.

"We're not implying in any way that mobile phones are dangerous," he told Reuters.

"Our intention is not to cash in on consumer fears but provide the consumers with what they want."

He added: "The debate is open. Although no study has proved mobile phones are harmful, no study has proved the contrary either."

But a spokeswoman for the Federation of the Electronics Industry said: "Evidence from the World Health Organization and others shows that there is no need for this lining.

"However, there are questions over whether the lining could interfere with the ability of the handset to communicate with the mobile phone network."

Conflicting research

There is conflicting evidence over the safety of mobile phones.

Recent research by scientists in Australia showed radiation from handsets did not trigger the growth of tumours in mice, and therefore probably did not do so in humans either.

That research followed another Australian study on mice five years ago that concluded cellular phones could foster tumour growth.

Swedish research published in August concluded that long-term users of first generation mobile phones faced an up to 80% greater risk of developing brain tumours than non-users.

But a Danish study last year of 400,000 mobile phone users showed no increased cancer risk.

The WHO said last year more research was needed.

The Stewart report, commissioned by the UK government and published in May 2000, concluded that there were no health risks associated with using mobile phones.

See also:

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