Experts have warned that mobile phones may cause serious health hazards in the near future and claimed that they could be ‘health time bombs’.
Professor Denis Henshaw, of Bristol University, advocates cigarette-style warnings on mobile phone packets.
“Vast numbers of people are using mobile phones and they could be a time bomb of health problems – not just brain tumours, but also fertility, which would be a serious public health issue,” the Daily Mail quoted him as saying.
According to a group of leading scientists, there are more than 200 academic studies that link use of the devices with serious health conditions such as brain tumours, the Daily Mail reported.
A 2008 Swedish study suggested children who use mobile phones are five times more likely to develop a rare brain tumour called a glioma.
Their report submitted by a leading group of British scientists states that ‘Both the Government and phone companies could very easily do far more to alert the public, particularly children, to the emerging risks and safety measures’.
Despite the experts admitting to the fact that the links are not proven, they argue that ‘schools, phone shops and the healthcare system’ should be enrolled into a campaign to cut mobile phone use.
However, the critics, who stresstaht scientists have found inconclusive evidence, say that a campaign would cause panic.
Other peer-reviewed studies have found inconclusive links to low sperm counts, behavioural problems in children whose mothers used them during pregnancy, and damage to brain cells.
One of the authors, Kevin O’Neill of Charing Cross Hospital, said the latency period for brain tumours is 30 years so it is possible the consequences of phone use are not yet apparent.
“Waiting for certainty of harm is a dangerous policy,” he said.