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New Mobile Phone Fears

Reported by Melissa Lovin

New evidence has recently been found to link mobile phones to cancerous brain tumors.  Two leading scientists, one of whom is funded by the industry itself, warned the public to cut mobile air time until further research can be done.  Used by millions with the numbers rising daily, this new information only adds to the mounting concern over the safety of cellular phones.  

Similar concerns were raised earlier this year when other researchers warned that low-level microwave radiation emitted from cellular phones can cause headaches, dizziness, and memory loss.  

The latest claims were made by British scientists on a recent BBC program called Panorama.  The producers of the program also commissioned a study of emissions absorbed by the brain from seven different mobile phones.  They discovered that the emissions from all seven were well below the danger threshhold.  The emissions are called Specific Absorption Rates or SARs and a level of ten SARs or below is regarded as safe.

Researchers from the National Physical Laboratory in Britian found that the highest emissions came from the Nokia 2110, with 0.44 SARs, and the lowest from the Motorola Star TAC 70 at 0.02.

However, the scientists behind the two separate studies, Dr. Lennart Hardell a Swedish cancer expert, and American Dr. George Carlo whose research body is funded directly by the mobile phone industry, insist that full-scale investigations are necessary to clear any safety issues that have now arisen.

Both scientists are clear in their findings that the link between cellular phones and brain tumors is only possible, but, more significantly, they have failed to establish that there is no link.  According to Dr. Hardell, "There is a biological indication that there is a problem which should be studied much more.  Until we have the definitive results of much larger studies, we need to minimize exposure".

Dr. Carlo adds, "We have moved into a gray area that suggests there could be problems that need to be looked at very carefully".

The scientists caution users to cut the time they spend on their cellular phones to a minimum ,or use the "hands-free"option  which makes no direct contact with the ear, until until a connection can be either disproved or established.

Their warning is echoed by Dr. Alan Preece of Bristol University, who is testing the memory and reaction times of 36 volunteers exposed to 20-30 minutes of mobile-type radiation.  He indicates that he has established changes in their memory patterns.

The evidence against mobiles is building despite insistence from the cellular industry that emissions are well below the level regarded as safe.

Industry spokesman, Tom Willis-Sandford, claims there is no evidence linking mobile phones to cancer and no need to use hands-free kits for health reasons.

Last month British researchers found that the radiation created mysterious hot spots which could damage children's developing brains.

The British government immediately promised a very "rigorous investigation" into the risks.  Days later, a study comprised of 11,000 volunteers, the largest to date,  found a link with headaches, dizziness, and lapses in concentration.  

Steve Corney, an engineer with BT, is suing his employer for 100,000 pounds  claiming he was forced into early retirement due to brain damage and memory impairment caused by using a mobile for up to five hours a day.  He claims he is suffering from premature senile dementia.