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British Medical Association (BMA) - Mobile Phones and Health - an Update

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January 2005

The British Medical Association represents doctors from all branches of medicine all over the UK.

The BMA update provides a brief outline of some of the most important research and policy developments in this field since its initial report published in May 2001.

The update concludes by stating "The BMA’s 2001 recommendation to adopt a precautionary approach to mobile phones while research remains inconclusive is still valid. This is compatible with the Government’s own policy. The BMA continues to support the ongoing national and international commitment to research into possible adverse effects of mobile phones. We will continue to keep a watching brief on forthcoming research and policy."

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).