Phones Get On Your (Ear) Nerves
Journalist: Lucy Sherriff
October 24, 2000
Mobile phones cause nerve damage to your ears. They also heat the skin.
The latest findings come from two research groups - one in the UK and one in
The UK study looked at the physiological changes during a 30-minute
conversation on a cell phone.
found that after just six minutes the temperature of the skin near the phone
had risen by 2.3 degrees, and the flow of air through the nose had changed
on the side closest to the phone.
The good news is that the researchers reckon the use of a hands-free kit can
reduce our exposure to the heating, and so reduce symptoms. They acknowledge
that the long-term implications for health are unclear.
The Australians cite the case of a man who had nerve damage to the side of
his head, which they could not find the root of,
even after a brain scan. They found that he had a marked difference in
response on one side of his head, and suffered pain after using a phone for
an hour on two consecutive days.
The leader of the research group, Dr Peter Hocking, said the unilateral
nature of the damage indicated that a cell phone had caused the damage
rather than there being a traceable medical problem. He said: "This is the
first time I am aware of that there has been a clear demonstration of a
health effect in humans."
So, hands-free kits and look like a victim of "care in the community", or
get nerve damage in the ear? Tough call, we'd go for the looking stupid
option any day.
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