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Mobile phones are now a necessity: just don’t bother us with conflicting advice

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“Mobile phones are now a necessity: just don’t bother us with conflicting advice”

4 January 2012

Two fifths of people say there is so much conflicting information about alleged health issues related to mobile phones and masts that they’d rather not hear about it.

That was one of the findings of a recent survey of almost 2,000 adults in Britain, carried out by Ipsos MORI for the Mobile Operators Association (MOA). However, the study also showed that people are generally not worried about these alleged health effects, with levels of concern at half the level of a decade ago. Around 90% of adults now use a mobile, and 83% agree that they are a ‘necessity’ for modern life.

John Cooke, Executive Director of the Mobile Operators Association said: “it’s understandable that some people think that the information on mobiles and health is conflicting, because any suggestion of health risks in any walk of life tends to make headlines, whereas a study saying that there’s no problem doesn’t. In fact, the scientific consensus and the official advice - both here in the UK and internationally - is reassuring”.

He added: “The World Health Organisation says that a large number of studies have been performed over the last two decades, and that to date, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use.”


When asked about children using mobile phones, just under a half agreed that advantages of a child having a mobile phone outweighed the disadvantages, compared to a fifth of people who disagreed. The proportion of those agreeing rose among younger people, and among those with children in their household.

John Cooke added: “The Health Protection Agency (HPA) here in the UK says that parents who are worried about mobiles and children’s health should discourage excessive use, and encourage children to text rather than to make a voice call. That’s advice that is going with the grain of how kids are increasingly using their mobiles anyway”. The HPA advice also confirms that no adverse health effects have been established from the use of mobiles.

Notes to Editors

  1. The Mobile Operators Association (MOA) represents the four UK mobile network operators – Everything Everywhere (Orange & T-Mobile), Telefonica UK, Three UK, and Vodafone – on radio frequency (RF) health and safety, and related town planning issues associated with the use of mobile phone technology. It provides information on these issues to policy-makers, including elected representatives and officials at UK, national, and local level, journalists, residents’ groups, and the wider public.
  2. Technical note for editors: 1965 face to face interviews conducted by Ipsos MORI among the GB general public aged over 15 on 2nd – 8th September 2011.
  3. The general public research can be accessed on the MOA website:
  4. For more information please contact Christine Jude 0207 331 2029, 07736 110787 email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it