Note below where it states: “The committee was shown a research paper published this month by the Royal Society in London which found that teenagers who started using mobile phones before the age of 20 were five times more likely to develop brain cancer at the age of 29 than those who did not use a mobile phone”.
The Sunday Mail (UK) 28 sept 2008
Warning label push – Phone risk ‘a reality”
“Precaution is warranted even in the absence of absolutely final evidence concerning the magnitude of the risk – especially for children”
MOBILE phones should carry a health warning like those on cigarette packets, scientists have warned.
The authorities must not make the same mistakes over possible links between mobile phones and brain cancer as they did with cigarettes and lung cancer, experts told a US congressional committee.
It took 50 years to get the tobacco industry to acknowledge the risks, and 70 years to remove lead from paint and petrol, they said.
“Society must not repeat the situation we had with smoking and lung cancer, where we waited until every i was dotted and t was crossed before warnings were issued,” said Professor David Carpenter, director of the Institute of Health and Environment at the University of Albany, New York.
“Precaution is warranted even in the absence of absolutely final evidence concerning the magnitude of the risk — especially for children.”
Dr Ronald Herberman, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, agreed and said: “We must learn from our past to do a better job of interpreting evidence of potential risk.”
He said that in countries such as Britain and the US, “every child is using cell (mobile) phones all of the time”.
Up to a quarter of Australian children aged four to 17 have mobile phones.
The committee heard that scientists were split over how dangerous mobile phones were to users. But Dr Herberman said most studies claiming there was no link between mobile phones and brain tumours were outdated because many defined regular mobile phone use as once a week.
Most did not include enough long-term users because a brain tumour could take many years to develop, he said.
Both men told the committee the brain cancer risk from mobile phone use was greater for children than for adults.
Dr Herberman produced a model showing how radiation from a mobile phone penetrated far deeper into the brain of a five-year-old than that of an adult.
The committee was shown a research paper published this month by the Royal Society in London which found that teenagers who started using mobile phones before the age of 20 were five times more likely to develop brain cancer at the age of 29 than those who did not use a mobile phone.
Another this year by a Swedish specialist found that frequent mobile phone users were twice as likely to develop a malignant tumour on the nerves of the “handset ear” than on the other ear.
Dr Herberman said: “I cannot tell you cell phones are definitely dangerous. But, I certainly cannot tell you that they are safe.”