AMTA statement on mobile phone health claims made by University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute

The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) relies on the expert judgment of public health authorities, such as the World Health Organization, for assessments of safety and health impacts.

AMTA was responding to a warning issued by the director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Dr Ronald B Herberman, who warned his faculty to limit the use of mobile phones because of what he claimed was a possible link with cancer.

He relied on unpublished data to back his claims.

AMTA Chief Executive Officer, Chris Althaus, said: “While we recognise that this topic will continue to be subject to speculation and differing scientific opinions, weight must be given to the expert judgements of international authorities considering the results of published, peer-reviewed and replicated scientific research,” he said.

“There is now a large body of published and peer-reviewed research into the health effects of radiofrequency emission available to health and regulatory bodies around the world, which is being continually reviewed.

“Potential health impacts of radio frequency energy have been studied in great detail over the past 50 years. This has resulted in a large body of scientific literature in this field - covering laboratory, clinical and epidemiological research.

“Comprehensive reviews of more than 2500 research publications, including more than 600 studies specifically on mobile phones and base stations, by governments and health authorities continue, without exception, to find there is no substantiated scientific evidence of health effects.”

In response to concern about mobile phones, the WHO has issued this statement about mobile phones and potential health consequences:

None of the recent reviews have concluded that exposure to the RF (radio frequency) fields from mobile phones and their base stations cause any adverse health consequences.

Mr Althaus said: “Mobile phone handsets and base stations are designed, built and tested to comply with strict science-based safety standards, which are recognised by national and international health agencies, including the WHO, as providing protection for all members of the community.

“The standards include significant in-built safety margins and provide protection for all users, including the elderly, children and others regardless of the frequency of use.

“People can be confident that there is no biological, medical, or statistical basis to assert a link between mobile phone use and brain cancer.

“The WHO has said there has been more research into radio frequency than for most chemicals.”

Mr Althaus said mobile phone users can be reassured that there is already a substantial body of scientific evidence on the long-term use of mobile phones through whole-of-life animal studies, which have found no link between long-term exposure to EME and health impacts.

Another large-scale study found that long-term use of mobile phones does not raise the risk of cancer. The Danish population study followed 420,000 mobile phone users for up to 21 years and found that long-term phone users did not have a higher risk of brain or central nervous system cancers, salivary gland tumours, eye tumours or leukaemia.

For more information contact Randal Markey AMTA 0421 240 550

A new communications web portal on health and electromagnetic fields (EMF) has been developed by AMTA in conjunction with two leading international industry associations, the GSM Association (GSMA) and the Mobile Manufacturers Forum.

Emfexplained.info provides easy-to-read information for the public and people working in EMF-related areas to gain a better understanding of EMF and wireless issues. It can be accessed at www.emfexplained.info