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French Government Urged To Issue Guidelines For Mobiles
Le Monde (English translation)
January 30, 2001

French experts have recommended the Government issue guidelines for using mobile phones, describing this as a precaution in the absence of evidence to say the gadget can damage health, a newspaper report said.

The guidelines, suggested by the panel in a report handed to the Health Ministry, emulate those issued in Britain last year.

The team advises users not to use mobile phones when reception is poor, as electromagnetic radiation levels are higher in these conditions.

They also advise parents who have given a mobile to their children to "ensure they use it moderately".

The experts were tasked last June with evaluating all scientific studies about the effects of mobile radiation on health.

The panel says "no reliable scientific information" exists at present about any risks, but recommends that the guidelines be issued as a precaution.

It notes that the biggest health problem presented by mobile phones is as a cause of car accidents.

Some studies suggest that intensive use of mobile phones can disrupt brain cells and cause brain cancer, although the samples have been challenged by manufacturers as being too small to be statistically relevant.

A major study, gathering scientists from 14 countries, has just got underway with the aim of determining, once and for all, whether there is any threat.

The survey, likely to take at least two years, will assess the incidence of cancer or other problems among as many as 17,000 phone users.

In the United States, new laws took effect from last August 1, requiring most wireless phones to include labels on how much radiation is emitted.

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