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Safety Of 'Hands-Free' Kits Unsure
The Times
December 08, 2000

The Government said today that it was unsure about the safety of mobile phone hands-free kits, an about-turn on its previous statements that they reduced radiation exposure.

New public information leaflets about mobile phone safety now say it is uncertain whether hands-free kits protect the user from radiation beamed into the head.

In August Patricia Hewitt, the minister in charge of E-commerce, said she was able to offer "unambiguous advice" that the kits reduced radiation levels.

That statement was based on research commissioned by the Government. But last month the Consumers' Association said its own studies indicated that hands-free kits could increase the brain's exposure to radiation by up to three and a half times.

Professor Liam Donaldson, the Chief Medical Officer for England, confirmed the Government line on hands-free sets had changed.

Speaking at the announcement of a new 7 million programme of mobile phone research, Mr Donaldson said further research was necessary to determine whether or not using hand sets reduces radiation exposure.

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