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Mobile Phones

Volume 407: debated on Wednesday 25 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent research he has commissioned on possible increased risks of contracting cancer arising from exposure to mobile phones. [118991]

The Stewart Report in May 2000 comprehensively reviewed the possible health effects of radio frequency (RF) exposure from the use of mobile phones. The group's website address is Although experimental and epidemiological studies gave no indication of a risk of cancer on the basis of evidence available, the Stewart group noted the limited amount of time that phones had been in use and the need for more research.In response to the Stewart recommendations, the LINK Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research (MTHR) Programme was set up with funding from both industry and Government, including the Department of Health. The MTHR website address is The programme includes three population (human health) studies that are designed specifically to look for cancer incidence in relation to mobile phone use. Two of these form part of the multinational INTERPHONE study being conducted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Results from this are expected in 2004 and more information about this study is available on the IARC website at recommendation in the Stewart Report was that there should be a further comprehensive review of the science related to possible health effects of exposure to RF radiation within three years. The Government asked for this review to be carried out by the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB) and the board of NRPB asked for this to be undertaken by its independent Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation. This review is nearing completion and will be finalised by the end of 2003. It will include a review of the totality of scientific evidence related to concerns about the risk of cancer.