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UK COSMOS Study Launched

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30 April 2010

Imperial College London launched a long-term study, on 22 April 2010, on the use of mobile phones and health, known as COSMOS (Cohort Study of Mobile Phone Use and Health). In addition to the UK, four other European countries are taking part in COSMOS: Denmark, Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands.

The study is part of the second UK Government research programme into mobile telephony, Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research (MTHR) Programme. COSMOS is designed to investigate, in greater detail than has been achieved before, whether the use of mobile phones is linked to long-term health effects. Reviews by independent scientific experts, over the past decade, of research into mobile phones and health have not found adverse health effects caused by mobile phones. COSMOS was successfully piloted in the first MTHR programme and trialled in 2009.

John Cooke, Executive Director of the Mobile Operators Association, said: “I welcome the launch of COSMOS. The UK operators are committed to supporting good quality, relevant research and this study is an important contribution to the research effort on mobile phones and health.”

All studies funded by the MTHR programme are managed through a strict and independent “firewall” which ensures that the funders cannot influence the design, progress, or conclusions of the research.

Any questions on detail of the study should be addressed to Imperial College by email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or freephone 08000 270270 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              08000 270270      end_of_the_skype_highlighting Monday - Saturday 10am – 6pm. More information on COSMOS is available at

COSMOS was announced in June 2008

61% of UK adults access the internet from mobiles

Mobile phones cannot work without a network of base stations (masts). There are approximately 52,500 base station sites (excluding microcells) in the UK. Only a third of these are large, free standing masts. A YouGov survey for MOA (Sept 2014) showed that nearly 8 out of 10 people recognise the link between masts and good mobile coverage. Mobile telecommunications are vital for the UK’s economic competitiveness and in promoting social inclusion. There are now 89.9 million mobile subscriptions in the UK. In Q1 2015 61 per cent of UK adults used their mobile phones for internet access. Tablet ownership is 54% of UK households.

No Established Health Effects

Mobile phones operate by using radio waves, similar to those that have been widely used for decades, for example in radio, TV and radar signals. A large number of studies over the last two decades have found no clear evidence of adverse health effects from the use of mobile phones or from phone masts.