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Skin Rash? Blame Your
Radiation from mobile phones could trigger skin allergies, according to alarming new findings.
Scientists claim to have found the first evidence that microwaves emitted by mobile handsets can worsen allergic reactions to dust mites and pollen.
The researchers believe that mobile radiation can 'excite' antigens - substances which cause allergies - in the bloodstreams of susceptible people.
Dr Hajime Kimata from Unitika Hospital, Kyoto, carried out research on 52 people with a history of eczema and dermatitis.
Half were exposed to mobile phone radiation for an hour, while the others were not.
Dr Kimata, whose findings are published in the medical journal International Archives of Allergy and Immunology, said: 'When we did blood tests we found that the mobile phones had raised the levels of certain chemicals in the blood which provoke allergic reactions such as eczema, hay fever and asthma.
'We were surprised but we carried out a properly controlled study. One group of patients had their phones turned on and receiving for an hour while they watched a video.
'The second group watched the same video while having their phones turned off so they couldn't receive calls.
' There was a significant increase in allergy levels which seemed to be linked to the use of mobile phones.' Mobile use also appeared to worsen skin weals induced by exposure to house dust mites or pollen from cedar trees in the susceptible patients, Dr Kimata reported.
He added that further investigations are necessary to draw definite conclusions about the effect of microwave radiation on allergic responses.
There are 40million mobile users in the UK, but despite extensive research in the last decade the health implications of sustained use remain unclear.
The biggest British study, led by Sir William Stewart two years ago, could find no evidence of a risk to health. But Sir William still recommended a precautionary approach, particularly in children.
Researchers in Sweden claimed earlier this year that mobile phones could damage key brain cells and trigger the early onset of Alzheimer's disease.
Tests on rats showed radiation from mobile phone handsets appeared to damage areas of the brain associated with learning, memory and movement.
Some users of mobiles have also complained that their phones appear to be either causing eczema or making it worse. Neil Warner, 38, a building company manager, said: 'I have suffered from eczema for years. When I use the mobile for any length of time I notice it starts to bring out eczema on different parts of my body.
'My skin will get red and sore in various places, but particularly close to where I was using the handset. I've always had eczema on the ears and when I used the phone it seemed to make it worse.'