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Stewart Report

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May 2000

The Stewart Report was commissioned by the UK Government and conducted by the Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones (IEGMP) to:

  • consider present concerns about the possible health effects from the use of mobile phones, base stations and transmitters
  • conduct a rigorous assessment of existing research
  • give advice based on the present state of knowledge
  • make recommendations on further work that should be carried out to improve the basis for sound advice

It concluded:
''The balance of evidence indicates that there is no general risk to the health of people living near to base stations on the basis that exposures are expected to be small fractions of international guidelines. However there can be indirect adverse effects on their well-being in some cases''. (paragraph 1.33)

The report recommended:
''A precautionary approach to the use of mobile phone technologies be adopted until much more detailed and scientifically robust information on health effects becomes available'' (paragraph 6.35)
''A substantial research programme should operate under the aegis of a demonstrably independent panel'' (paragraph 5.270)
''The issue of possible health effects of mobile phone technology should be the subject of a further review in three years time, or earlier if circumstances demand it'' (paragraph 5.273)

Full report available at

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).