Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Wednesday, June 2, 1999 Published at 06:22 GMT 07:22 UK


Police warn staff over mobile phones

Many people are worried about the safety of using mobile phones

The Metropolitan Police force is advising its staff to restrict the length of their mobile phone calls to five minutes because of new health concerns.

Safety experts from the London force are also telling officers and civilian staff concerned about any risk to consider using an earpiece.

The advice is being issued after a number of reports which have raised safety concerns about the prolonged use of mobile phones.

Staff from the 27,000-strong force's occupational health directorate are now liaising with the Health and Safety Executive and the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB).

'No harm in using an earpiece'

A spokesman said: "Purely as a precautionary measure, the directorate offers advice to any Met personnel making inquiries about mobile phone safety.

"The advice says: 'Does the user really need to use a mobile phone? If so, they should limit the length of time to certainly no more than five minutes.

" 'If users are required to make regular and lengthy use of mobile phones, there would be no harm in using an earpiece.' "

Some researchers have warned that low-level microwave radiation from mobile phone handsets can heat the brain, causing a number of neurological problems.

'Lack of statistical precision'

The latest wave of concern follows a recent BBC Panorama programme, on which two leading scientists said there could be a link between mobile phone usage and brain tumours.

Swedish cancer expert Dr Lennart Hardell, and American Dr George Carlo, have urged people to spend as little time as possible using mobile phones until more major research is carried out.

But the NRPB said Dr Hardell's study "lacked statistical precision".

Mobile phones are currently used by about 13 million people in Britain.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

UK Contents

Northern Ireland

Relevant Stories

28 May 99 | Health
Mobile phones: Don't hang up

26 May 99 | Health
Mobile users fear health problems

24 May 99 | Health
Mobile phone cancer study 'flawed'

11 May 99 | Health
Mobiles 'should have health warning'

Internet Links

National Radiological Protection Board


Metropolitan Police

Health and Safety Executive

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online