Mobile Makers Accused Of Hidden Health Warnings

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Radiation fears over the use of mobile phones surfaced again last week, after mobile phone makers were accused of burying health warnings

The ongoing debate over the alleged dangers of using a mobile phone surfaced again last week after a pressure group urged mobile phone companies to display radiation health warnings more prominently.

The latest health concerns centre on the fact that the user manuals for the most popular phones tell users not to place devices directly against their bodies, but this advice is often buried in the small print.

Burried Warnings?

According to the Daily Mail, this includes the Apple iPhone, which states deep inside the manual that the device should be kept at least 15mm away from the body.

Meanwhile RIM warns that customers should use their devices hands-free or keep them an inch from the body ‘including the abdomen of pregnant women and the lower abdomen of teenagers’. This advice is also apparently hidden in the instruction booklet.

Other manuals from the likes of Nokia and HTC etc. carry similar small-print warnings in their manuals.

Alasdair Philips, of Powerwatch, an independent group which investigates the safety of mobile phones, told the Daily Mail: “Most people have no idea about these warnings.

“The safety advice should be included on the boxes and far more prominently in the “getting started” section of user guides and not just in the detail at the back that hardly anyone reads,” he said. He also called for a much wider public education campaign that “begins in the schools”.

Long Running Issue

Campaigners have long been seeking warning labels on mobile phones. Back in June a local law was passed stating that mobile phones sold in San Francisco have to clearly display the levels of radiation they emit.

There has been a number of studies into the potential danger caused by mobiles that have centred on the brain and sperm quality. In June a study found no cancer risk for children born near mobile phone masts.

“When a phone has to power up, it sends high SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) power into the trunk and towards the kidneys and liver. It can be the testicles if in a trouser pocket,” said Philips in the Daily Mail. He also said that woman carry mobiles in chest bags which hang just below their breasts.

“Breasts, eyes and testicles absorb external RF energy the most. Blood-rich organs, such as the liver, kidneys and heart are among the top energy absorbers,” he said.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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