Back to previous page back  

New Dangers On Radiation For Mobile Phone Users
Daily Express
December 11, 2000

Mobile phone users receive far more radiation from their handsets than previously thought, according to a ground-breaking new study.

Researchers believe current methods of calculating mobile emissions substantially underestimate their effects on human tissue.

The study - to be published in January in the academic journal Physics in Medicine and Biology - suggests that the effect on brain cells of electromagnetic radiation from a mobile is up to 20 per cent greater than previously believed.

Professor Jose Luis Sebastian, head of applied physics at the University Complutense in Madrid, made the discovery. He achieved this by making calculations based on cylindrical and rugby ball-shaped models which resemble more closely the actual shape of human cells.

News of the study comes just days after the publication of a Government leaflet warning mobile users to compare radiation levels, known as Specific Absorption Rates, of different handsets.

From early next year, mobile companies will have to publish the SAR values of their phones. A research team from across Europe is working on a standard way to measure SARs.

However if these measurements use current methods they will be inaccurate, according to Professor Sebastian.

He told the Daily Express last night: "Current methods of measuring the effects of mobiles involve simulations which see human cells as spherical. However, human cells are more complicated shapes such as cylindrical or ellipsoidal.

"We found the intensity of the electric field to be substantially higher with more realistic shapes.

"In effect the fields created are higher than we thought so it is likely that any health effects are also going to be greater.

"We believe the effects to be cumulative and that in 10 to 15 years we are likely to see more cancers as a result of widespread mobile phone use."

Methods of measuring the SARs of mobiles so far involve calculating the average effect on millions of the spherically-shaped cells.

Prof Sebastian's researchers used computer modelling to measure the intensity of electric fields created in different-shaped models of human cells.

The effect was shown to be between 15 and 20 per cent higher in the cylindrical and rugby ball shapes than in the spheres.

The team also discovered the intensity of the effect on a more realistic non-spherical model of a human cell depends on its angle in relation to the radiation, and on the position of other cells around it.

Prof Sebastian added: "If we are going to understand how electromagnetic radiation from mobiles effects human tissue, it is essential to consider the effects of cell shape and interaction."

On Friday the Government announced its new 7million research programme into the potential health hazards of mobiles and urged those aged under 16 to use handsets for short, essential calls only.

Top of Page