- MOBILE phones do scramble your brains, a Government study has confirmed.
- A report by experts at Bristol University
shows that microwaves from mobiles affect your nervous system.
- It is disturbing news for Britain's 13
million mobile phone users, who have been bombarded with conflicting information
about potential dangers.
- Official advice says as long as mobiles
conform to Government guidelines on heating your brain, they are safe.
- But critics of the industry have long
believed it is not the heating effect which could cause long-term damage
- but the scrambling effect on the brain's electrical impulses.
- The study carried out on 36 volunteers
clearly showed mobiles make us react faster in certain situations - a brain
function which is controlled by electrical flow.
- The report - due out next week - was
not intended to address fears about cancer risks.
- But Dr Alan Preece, who led the study,
concludes that mobile radiation does affect the brain, principally the
part of the brain's cortex which links speech and vision.
- Last night experts said the Government-funded
study was too small in its scope, but admitted it gave grounds for concern
and proved the need for more widespread research.
- Microwave radiation expert Alasdair Philips
of consumer watchdog Powerwatch said volunteers were subjected only to
small amounts for about 25 minutes at a time.
- "But the fact that it showed any
effect at all means there is an urgent need for a repeat of this work with
many more people and longer exposure times."
- Each volunteer was fitted with a headset
attached to a mobile phone simulator in the tests at Bristol Royal Infirmary.
- They were subjected to analogue and digital
signals and tested to measure their mental efficiency and reaction time.
- Volunteers responded more quickly in
one test when subjected to microwave radiation - meaning it had affected
the central nervous system.
- Responses were faster to analogue signals,
which are continuous, than to digital signals, which are broken up.
- Yesterday the Sunday Mirror tracked down
one of the human guinea pigs.
- Mother-of-two Sue Pycock, 48, put on
the headphones and watched 10 versions of a similar image and memorised
- A second sequence was shown and she had
to respond by pressing a button every time she saw one from the previous
- A computer recorded the accuracy and
speed of her responses. Sue, of Clevedon, Somerset, said: "Some of
them were tricky but most were pretty easy - I don't know if that had anything
to do with the microwaves."
- Experts pointed out that Dr Preece did
not use real mobile phones but microwave simulators.
- A digital mobile emits low-frequency
magnetic field pulses as well as microwave radiation.
- These are created by the battery switching
power on and off 217 times a second as signals are sent by the mobile.
They pass right through the head and out the other side.
- Mr Philips said: "These low-frequency
fields may have a greater effect on performance such as memory than microwave
- The report will be published on Thursday
in the International Journal Of Radiation Biology.