- Britain's biggest police force is advising
staff to restrict calls on mobile phones to five minutes in the wake of
new health fears.
- Officers and civilian staff concerned
about any risk are also being told by the force's safety experts to consider
using an earpiece.
- The advice was issued to London's 27,000-strong
Metropolitan force after a number of reports raised safety concerns over
the prolonged use of mobile phones.
- Staff from the Met's occupational health
directorate are now liaising with the Health and Safety Executive and the
National Radiological Protection Board.
- "Purely as a precautionary measure,
the directorate offers advice to any Met personnel making inquiries about
mobile phone safety," said a Yard spokesman.
- The advice says: "Does the user
really need to use a mobile phone? If so, they should limit the length
of time to certainly no more than five minutes. If users are required to
make regular and lengthy use of mobile phones, there would be no harm in
using an earpiece."
- Recent studies have added to mounting
concern over the safety of mobiles - used by about 13 million people in
Britain alone. Some researchers have warned that low-level microwave radiation
from the handsets can heat the brain, causing a number of neurological
- The latest research emerged on BBC1's
Panorama, where the programme-makers ordered a study of emissions absorbed
by the brain from seven different mobiles - and found that all were well
below the danger threshold. But two leading scientists have urged people
to spend as little time as possible using the phones until further major
research is carried out.
- Swedish cancer expert Dr Lennart Hardell,
and American Dr George Carlo, whose research body is funded by mobile phone
firms, insist full-scale investigations are necessary to answer the safety
- Both men told Panorama that their research
has provided only an indication that there could be a link with brain tumours.
But, importantly, they have failed to establish there is no connection.