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Doctors Advise Drivers Not to Phone Home
Korea Times
May 23, 2001

Doctors advised drivers on Thursday not to phone home or anywhere else for that matter on their mobile phones because using them, even a hands-free type, could damage your health or kill you.

Scientists are still investigating the potential hazards of mobile phones and possible links to cancer but one thing they agree on is that using a phone while driving is dangerous and increases the risk of an accident.

"There is strong experimental evidence that engaging in mobile phone conversations can impair ability to react to potentially hazardous situations," said Dr. Vivienne Nathanson of the British Medical Association (BMA).

In a new report by the BMA, which summarizes existing knowledge about mobile phones and public health, doctors urged the government to issue new guidelines to the country's 40 million mobile phone users about driving.

The report, entitled "Mobile phones and health" said evidence indicates that using a hands-free kit is just as dangerous as using a hand-held set.

It added that there are still large gaps in research about the potential dangers of electromagnetic fields emitted from the phones and urged users to adopt a cautionary approach. "The most recently published reviews...have concluded that whilst there are small physiological effects within the existing guidelines, there are no definite adverse health effects from mobile phones or their base stations," Nathanson added.

"However, all the main professional organizations have called for more research to be conducted, since the possibility that radiofrequency radiation may cause adverse effects cannot be ruled out on the currently available data," she added.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is conducting research into the potential dangers of mobile phones.

Until scientists reach conclusive results the BMA advised users to reduce their risk by switching off phones when they are not in use, limiting the duration of calls and never driving while using any type of mobile phone.  

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