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Mobile phones head for one billion mark
Safety precautions to protect the public from the possible hazards of mobile phones are being announced by the Government.
:: More than 27 million people in Britain and more than 300 million worldwide use mobile phones.
:: The total number of mobile phones in the world is expected to reach one billion by 2005.
:: The first mobile phones cost around £2700, but prices plummeted as technology advanced and many companies now offer handsets for free in special deals to attract new customers.
:: Mobile phones emit microwaves similar to those used in microwave ovens, but at a much lower power level.
:: They have generated a multitude of scare stories, including suggestions that they cause cancer and memory loss, but the industry insists there is no evidence they have any harmful effects.
:: Research into mobiles includes a study at the University Neurology Clinic in Freiburg, Germany, which claimed they can increase blood pressure - the rise was small, but could be harmful to people with high blood pressure, said researchers.
:: Dr Kjell-Hansson Mild, at the National Institute of Working Life in Umea, Sweden, conducted tests on 11,000 mobile users which suggested regular use could lead to fatigue, headaches, and skin irritation.
:: Research at the University of Washington, Seattle, USA, suggested that microwaves can induce stress.
:: Swedish cancer specialist Dr Lennart Hardell has claimed to have found a correlation between which side of the head mobile users hold their handset and the location of tumours.
:: A University of Bristol team, led by Dr Alan Preece, found no evidence of mobile phone users suffering impairment of memory, spatial awareness or attention.
Safety precautions to protect the public from the possible hazards of mobile phones are set to be announced by the Government.
The package being announced follows discussions with industry, consumer groups and scientists.