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Hour A Day On
Mobile Can Harm Hearing
Young people could be permanently damaging their hearing by talking on mobile phones for just an hour a day, experts have warned.
A study of 18- to 25-year-olds showed those who regularly used mobiles found it more difficult to hear certain words, particularly in the ear to which most users hold their handsets.
Scientists fear the sensitive inner ear could be damaged by radiation from long-term mobile phone use. They are urging the public to use mobiles sparingly.
The new study, presented at the American Academy of Otolaryngology's annual conference this week, compared the hearing of 100 mobile phone users aged between 18 and 25 with that of 50 others who did not use mobiles.
It showed those who used their handsets for more than an hour a day over more than four years tended to find it more difficult to distinguish sounds. The problem was worse in the right ear, to which most people hold their handsets.
The mobile phone users had difficulty hearing words beginning with s, f, h, t and z.
The Mobile Operators Association, representing Britain's mobile phone companies, said scientific reviews had concluded there was no evidence to suggest radio waves from handsets damaged health.