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Mobile Phones: Health Hazards

Volume 464: debated on Monday 15 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent discussions he has had with the mobile phone industry on developing increased protection for users from radiation from prolonged mobile phone use; (157416)

(2) what discussions he has had with his European counterparts on developing greater protection for users from radiation from prolonged mobile phone use.

No discussions have taken place with the mobile phone industry or our European counterparts on such matters. Mobile phones comply with the international guidelines set out in the European Council Recommendation EC/519/1999.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what evaluation his Department has made of recent international research into the health effects of prolonged mobile phone use. (157417)

The Department receives advice from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) on the health effects of electromagnetic fields and radiofrequency radiation exposure such as that emitted by mobile phones. The HPA’s independent Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation published a comprehensive detailed review of mobile-phone related studies in “Health Effects from Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields” (Documents of the NRPB, Vol. 14, No. 2, 2003). This report and HPA advice are available on its website at www.hpa.org.uk/radiation. More recently a number of individual studies have been published and will be taken into account in the next detailed review. It may be appropriate to undertake such a review when the results of the large international INTERPHONE study are known.

The INTERPHONE study is being co-ordinated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a part of the World Health Organization located in Lyon, France. IARC published an update on 25 September 2007, in which it indicated the study is nearing completion and summarised the results from scientific papers that have already been published by some of the national components. The update is available at:

www.iarc.fr/ENG/Units/INTERPHONEresultsupdate.pdf

The programme management committee of the UK’s Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Programme (MTHR) published a report on 12 September 2007. The MTHR report described the work it has supported in the United Kingdom and placed it in context with work going on in other parts of the world. The committee’s report is available at:

www.mthr.org.uk/.