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Mobile Phones A
Two-Minute Health Hazard
Using a hand-held mobile phone for as little as two minutes could put people at risk of developing disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease, according to a new study.
Swedish researchers found that microwaves from mobile phones disabled a safety mechanism in the body that protects the brain from toxic substances in the blood.
Once the toxins were released, there was a high chance of developing brain illness. A second study, conducted in the United States, concluded that mobile phones also caused memory loss.
The findings are certain to increase anxiety about the effects on health of mobile phones, which have proliferated in Western societies at an astonishing rate.
They also cast doubt on World Health Organisation guidelines for using mobile phones, based on minimum radiation heating levels.
The new study by scientists at the University of Lund, near Malmo in Sweden, exposed rats to microwave impulses similar to those emitted by mobile phones. The exposure broke the blood-brain barrier within two minutes, exposing the brain tissue to proteins and toxins.
The study showed the damage was caused without emissions heating the rats heads. The neurologist who carried out the research, Professor Leif Salford, said "although it was unclear just how harmful the brain-blood change would be to a person's health, we need to bear in mind diseases such as MS and Alzheimer's which are linked to proteins found in the brain."
The experiment was repeated and came up with identical results.
The second study, by Dr Henry Lai, of the University of Seattle, tested memory in rats. In his experiments100 rats were placed in a tank of cloudy water and taught to swim to a platform.
Half the group were then exposed to mobile phone radiation. All of these forgot the way to the platform, whereas the unexposed rats remembered. The study is due to be published in an American electromagnetics science journal. The debate on the health risks has increased with manufacturers insisting that microwave levels would not excessively heat users heads.