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British Medical Association - Mobile Phones and Health, An interim Report

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May 2001

The aim of the report was to summarise the current knowledge about mobile phone technology and public health by examining all the previous publications relating to this topic.

Summary of published reviews:

  • Whilst there are small physiological effects there are no definite adverse health effects from mobile phones or their base stations.
  • All the major professional organisations have called for more research to be conducted to address the gaps in knowledge.
  • The precautionary approach should be adopted while research remains inconclusive.
  • The BMA supports the international commitment to current and planned research.
  • The BMA endorses the Department of Health's policy to issue information on mobile phone technology direct to the public, which should help them understand and assess any possible risks.

No Established Adverse Health Effects

Mobile phones operate by using radio waves, a form of non-ionising radiation. There is a large body of scientific evidence on the effects of exposure to radio waves because they have been widely used for decades: for example, radio, TV and radar signals are radio waves. The scientific consensus is that, apart from the increased risk of a road accident due to mobile phone use when driving, there is no clear evidence of adverse health effects from the use of mobile phones or from phone masts. (Source: Health Protection Agency, Health Advice on Mobile Phones, May 2010).

A Wealth of Research

A large number of studies have been performed over the last two decades to assess whether mobile phones pose a potential health risk. To date, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use. (Source: World Health Organisation Fact Sheet N°193, June 2011).