Follow Us on Twitter

Health Council of the Netherlands - Mobile Phones: An Evaluation of Health Effects, Advisory Report

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

January 2002

In an advisory report to the Dutch Government, the Electromagnetic Fields Committee of the Health Council of the Netherlands provided an overview, based on scientific literature, of whether exposure to electromagnetic fields from antennas and mobile phones can adversely effect health.

The committee concluded:

  • The electromagnetic field of a mobile telephone does not constitute a health hazard, according to the present state of scientific knowledge. Therefore, there are no reasons to revise existing exposure limits.
  • Properly conducted research has not demonstrated any association between frequent use of a mobile phone and symptoms such as headaches, dizziness and insomnia.
  • Further research is needed to better understand the possible effects, especially long-term, of mobile phones on health.

The full report is available at: http://www.gezondheidsraad.nl/en/publications/mobile-telephones-evaluation-health-effects-0

Telecommunications and Health Research Programme

Begun in January, 2002 (Ongoing)

In May 2000, the Stewart Report called for the establishment of a substantial independent research programme to help fill gaps in scientific knowledge about mobile phones and health.

This was accepted by the UK Government and mobile phone operators. In February 2002, a three-year £7.4 million independent health research programme was announced. Mobile phone companies are funding 50% of the project, but will have no other involvement.

The first studies will examine:

  • Possible effects of mobile phones on blood pressure and hearing.
  • Whether mobile phone use effects the risk of developing brain cancer or leukaemia.
  • Possible effects of mobile phone signals on brain function.
  • The effects of talking on the phone and driving.

Details of the research programme can be found at www.mthr.org.uk

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).