- Leading scientists have have cut down
or modified their personal use of mobile phones as fears mount that they
can damage health.
- New research to be published next month
links mobile phone use to memory loss.
- The use of mobile phones has already
been linked to headaches, fatigue, damage to the immune system and cancer.
- However, there is no firm evidence yet
that mobile phones cause any harm.
- Professor Colin Blakemore, Waynflete
professor of physiology at Oxford University and a member of the official
body that regulates the use of mobile phones in the UK, is one of those
who have cut back their use of mobile phones.
- Professor Blakemore said there was growing
evidence that mobile phones could effect the functioning of the brain.
- He said there other reasons not to use
mobile phones, such as cost and annoyance to other people.
- Professor Blakemore said nerve cells
were influenced by electromagnetic radiation of the type produced by mobile
- He said the phones were also placed close
to areas in the brain that regulated short-term memory, as well as areas
that controlled heart function and blood pressure.
- He told News Online: "It would not
surprise me if there was a small temporary effect on the electrical response
of nerve cells when the phone is in use which could impact on the brain's
ability to process information."
- Professor Blakemore said he had experienced
problems concentrating while using mobile phones.
- "I have experienced by attention
being distracted rather more than it should have been just by the conversation
I was having," he said.
- However, Professor Blakemore said the
effect of mobile phones was likely only to be temporary, and relatively
small. He said reports that suggested mobile phones could cause permanent
damage should be treated with great caution.
- Earpiece use
- Professor Jim Penman, from Aberdeen University,
is another top academic who has changed the way he uses mobile phones.
- He said we was using an earpiece attached
to his mobile phone so that the handset was kept as far away from his brain
- "I believe there is a significant
risk to using mobile phones, and it seems prudent to minimise that risk
if it can be done easily," he said.
- Professor Penman said it was not yet
clear whether the effects of radiation from mobile phones would be short
term or long-term.
- A team from Bristol Royal Infirmary has
carried out research into a link between mobile phones and memory loss.
- The research, to be published next month
in the International Journal of Radiation Biology, is thought to show that
mobile phone use has a most impact on short-term memory and may also reduce
- The researchers, led by Dr Alan Preece,
have refused to comment on their findings, and claim national press reports
about their work are riddled with inaccuracies.