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Watchdog Stands By Phones Warning
The Scotsman
Journalist: Alison Gray
August 09, 2000

The Consumers' Association yesterday stood by its warning that hands-free mobile phone kits can triple the level of radiation beamed into the ear.

The group's statement came as the Department of Trade and Industry published a report which said the devices produced "substantial reductions" in radiation exposure.

The findings of the DTI directly contradict claims from a Which? study that far from offering protection, some hands-free devices can act like aerials, channelling radiation into users' heads.

The Consumers' Association questioned the testing methodology, known as SAR, used by the government. Helen Parker, the editor of Which? said: "We think there are problems with current SAR testing for hands-free kits and we are carrying out more research into this area."

The DTI research was carried out by SARtest, an independent consultancy specialising in the measurement of radio frequency fields from mobile phones. However, the test was not designed to assess hands-free kits.

The report said: "Personal hands-free kits offer very substantial reductions in SAR (specific absorption ratio) compared to the normal use of a mobile phone."