| In 1993 the cellular telecommunications industry was rocked when the first law suit was filed against it by the husband of a cell phone company employee, who claimed that the brain tumour which killed his wife had been caused by the use of her mobile. Despite the case not proceeding through lack of proof, the scare never went away completely and in 1996 the subject re-emerged when animal research was released from America showing possible links between mobile use and DNA damage. Even more damaging was Australian animal research sponsored by the cellular industry showing that mobile phone radiation increased cancer rates by up to 2.4 times the norm. Ever since, the subject has rarely left the headlines with a continual stream of press stories linking mobile use with a bewildering array of ailments.Research released during this period has include studies showing: |
Further confirmation of DNA damage
Damage to human chromosomes
Leakage’s of potentially noxious substances into the blood brain barrier
Epidemiological studies in humans showing increased tendency for brain tumours in mobile users and also a correlation between location of the tumour and the side the user held the mobile
Links with cancer of the eye
Studies showing disruption of sleep
As if by way of supporting the research, thousands of users have started reporting symptoms they claim have been caused by using their handsets. Up till recently this anecdotal evidence as it is known, had been largely ignored by industry and Governments alike, but last year’s UK Government sponsored Stewart report, officially acknowledged these users and called for their experiences to be included by national radiation advisory bodies such as the UK’s NRPB (National Radiological Protection Board) when making any risk assessment.
The year 2000 also saw the introduction of safety leaflets being issued in the UK to users when buying a mobile and also agreement by manufacturers in the US and UK to include radiation emission levels on all handset packaging, as well as being made available on the Internet see http://www.sarvalues.com
It was perhaps no great surprise therefore when in December 2000 a new major litigation suit was taken out against the industry in the US, attracting substantial world-wide publicity. This latest action is being led by a prominent Baltimore lawyer who has already won billions of dollars in damages from the tobacco and asbestos industries. The same lawyer has previously been quoted as saying he would not get involved in any action he was not 90% confident of winning.
A UK MORI poll commissioned in 1999 revealed that 43% of mobile phone owners questioned who used their handset on a daily basis, described themselves as being particularly concerned about potential health risks. Since then both the UK and French Government’s have recommended that all users adopt the precautionary approach regarding the use of all cellular technology as a result of research which has indicated biological effects being caused by exposure to the radiation given off by the technology at output levels below that of the current national safety guidelines.