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Mobile Phones With A Warning
The Hindu
Journalist: Hasan Suroor
November 29, 2000

Mobile phones in Britain would now come with a health warning following research findings that their use could be harmful, especially for children. A report, published this summer, cautioned users of mobile phones saying they risked exposure to radiation which could be harmful. Children, it said, were particularly vulnerable. However, it pointed out that more research was needed to establish beyond doubt that mobile phones were indeed harmful. Its findings, at this stage, were preliminary but important enough to sound a cautionary note. The Government has sent out advice to schools to discourage children below the age of 16 from using mobile phones.

Teenagers with their ears glued to a mobile phone is a common sight and researchers say that phone companies are increasingly targeting children as they are seen more vulnerable to peer pressure. ``Telephones are now the most sought-after `toy' for children as young as nine or ten and it is, rather alarmingly, this age group that is thought to be the fastest growing market'', according to a report in The Independent. Thousands of mobile phones are expected to be sold during Christmas and New Year's shopping in the next few weeks. Health officials see this as the ideal time to warn people of the potential health danger from mobile phones. Leaflets, particularly addressed to parents, are being prepared for distribution among mobile phone buyers. But there is widespread scepticism how seriously the warning will be taken considering that a similar warning on cigarette packets has not deterred smokers.