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Health Hazards: Mobile Phones

Volume 461: debated on Tuesday 12 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent studies her Department has (a) commissioned and (b) received on the potential health hazards from (i) mobile phone masts and (ii) handheld mobile phones; and if she will make a statement. (141319)

The Stewart Report in 2000 comprehensively reviewed the scientific literature and concluded that

“the balance of evidence to date suggests that exposures below international guidelines do not cause health effects to the general population”

( Handheld mobile phones and base station installations in the United Kingdom are designed to comply with international exposure guidelines. The Stewart Report, however, also recommended further research as part of an overall precautionary approach to the use of mobile phone technology pending the availability of more robust scientific research results.

The independently managed Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research (MTHR) programme, jointly funded by Government and industry, was set up in 2001 in response to the Stewart Report recommendations. It is currently supporting a number of studies into the possible health effects of technology relating to masts (base stations) and handheld mobile phones. These studies, some in progress and some already published, are described on the MTHR website at

Research on the potential health effects from mobile phone technology is evaluated periodically by the Health Protection Agency’s Radiation Protection Division. The report entitled “Mobile Phones and Health 2004” (Documents of the NRPB, Volume 15, No. 5) is available in the Library and at