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Scientist Attacks Mobile Phone Ads Aimed At Children
September 04, 2001

The president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science says mobile phone adverts aimed at children are irresponsible.

Sir William Stewart is calling for phones to be made more expensive to protect children's health.

Sir William, who chaired an inquiry into the hazards of mobile phones, says not enough is yet known about their biological effects.

The radiation they produce is known to generate heat in the brain. But the jury is out on whether it also has biological effects, such as triggering cancer.

In the absence of such knowledge mobile phone use should be kept to a minimum, Sir William said at the BA science festival at Glasgow University.

This is especially the case as far as children are concerned, he added.

Mobile phone makers often presented their products in adverts as essential "back to school" items for children. Such adverts are irresponsible, says Sir William.

He added: "They are irresponsible because children's skulls are not fully developed. They will be using mobile phones for longer, and their effects won't be known for some time to come."

Sir William says he would not allow his grandchildren to use mobile phones.

He added: "Mobile phone technology has been led by the physical sciences. My own view is we ought to be doing more work on the potential biological effects."

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