Mobile phone industry relies on independent expert bodies for health assessments

The Chief Executive of the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA), Chris Althaus, said tonight the safety of mobile phones is an issue that the industry takes very seriously.

The industry relies on the independent judgements of expert bodies, such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), on safety issues.

Mr Althaus was commenting on claims made by Channel 7’s Today Tonight program about the use of mobile phones and brain tumours.

He said the mobile phone industry extends its sympathy to the individuals with cancer who were interviewed on the television program.

The potential impact of radio frequency (RF) energy has been studied in great detail over the past 50 years with comprehensive reviews of more than 2500 research publications, including more than 600 studies specifically on mobile phones.

They continue to find that there is no substantiated scientific evidence of health effects from mobile phones or their base stations.

In response to concern about mobile phones, the WHO 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 recognized 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, (02) 62396555 or 0421240550