Cell Phones May Be
Leaking Hazardous Chemicals

MALMO, Sweden (ENS) - Swedish scientists have claimed that hazardous chemicals emitted by mobile phones could be causing symptoms such as headaches in phone users.
The researchers claim this is the first report of possible leaching of chemicals from mobile phones in use.
According to Bo Brstell and colleagues at Malm based contract testing laboratory IMTEC, mobile phones warmed to body heat, as they could be when pressed against the ear, emitted a range of chemicals, including phenol, cresol and biphenyls.
They suggest that these could enter mobile phone users' bodies through the skin or by inhalation.
"This may explain why many frequent users of mobile phones complain over constant headaches and dizziness," Brstell told Swedish magazine "New Technology," which first reported on the IMTEC scientists' two-year investigation.
Responding to the news, Mats Pellbck-Scharp of major Swedish mobile phone maker Ericsson said he could not understand where the chemicals originate from. "We will of course look into this immediately," he said.
Sweden's Chemicals Inspectorate has requested a copy of the scientists' report for evaluation and the Swedish Institute for Research on the Workplace will also followup the research.
Brstell and colleagues are not sure where the chemicals originate.
"They may come from details on the phones made from phenolic plastic. Another source may be the liquids used to facilitate the release of the phone shell from plastic presses at the factory. Circuit cards may also be the villains," Brstell said.
Meanwhile, a new report from the United Kingdomís Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones (IEGMP) recommends a "precautionary approach" to the use of mobile phones. The panel specifically discourages the use of mobile phones by children and the marketing of phones to children.
The panel says information about radiation exposure from different mobile phones - known as specific absorption rates (SARs) - should be "readily accessible to consumers." These numbers should be published "on the box" of new phones. The government should also circulate a leaflet to every household in the U.K. on the possible impact of the phones on health.
Further research is needed, the panel concludes, recommending a "substantial" research program, cofunded by the government and industry and run by an "independent panel."
In its response, the UK government has already agreed that information on SARs should be widely available and to set up a research program. More information, and the full text of the report, are available at:
{Published in cooperation with ENDS Environment Daily, Europe's choice for environmental news. Environmental Data Services Ltd, London. Email: <}
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