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Sunday, 30 April, 2000, 00:19 GMT 01:19 UK
Mobiles 'to carry health warnings'
Mobile phones
Mobile phones have raised health fears
Mobile phones will have to carry health warnings after a study into their effects on the brain is published, according to a newspaper report.

The Observer says the government committee on mobile phone safety has found public concern over their use is justified.

The Stewart Inquiry, due to report next week, had been expected to dismiss fears that radiation from mobiles could cause memory loss, Alzheimer's disease and cancer.

However, the newspaper says committee members were "angered" by earlier reports they would find the phones are safe.

The warnings will tell people to be cautious of how long they use their mobile phones for at a time.

The inquiry, headed by Professor Sir William Stewart of Tayside University, is expected to recommend further research into the issue.

Phone masts

It is also likely to say that some of the 22bn raised by the sale of mobile phone licences should be ploughed into further research.

The independent group, set up by the government, is believed to be in favour of restrictions on the siting of mobile phone masts.

The panel features experts in physics, telecommunications, engineering, neuroscience and radiobiology.

Earlier this week, Alasdair Philips, of consumer watchdog Powerwatch, said: "Our understanding is that the report will state that, for the majority of people, reasonable mobile phone use should not cause any adverse health consequences.

"But the jury is still out on possible links with a variety of effects including headaches, earaches, skin problems, concentration and short-term memory problems."

'Wholly inadequate'

He added: "What we believe they will say is that to date the government spending on mobile phone health effects has been wholly inadequate.

"They are recommending that a significant percentage of this licence money is allocated for further mobile phone research, particularly on mental functioning."

It is understood the group considered work from Poland on military personnel exposed to low levels of pulsed microwaves over a number of years, which led to a 14-fold increase in adult leukaemia.

Professor Stewart was not available for comment and the National Radiological Protection Board and the Department of Health declined to comment before publication of the report on 11 May.

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28 Apr 00 | Health
Mobile phone fears 'unfounded'
06 Nov 99 | Health
Mobile phone 'brain risk'
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