Monday, 20 May 2019

In Brief

Will there ever be an answer to the mobile phone cancer debate?

After nearly twenty years in use, they're now so common that if mobiles were dangerous, you'd expect severe health impacts to be widespread, the ABC’s Catalyst program has reported.

The weekly science show interviewed both Australian and International experts on research into the possible health effects of mobile phone signals including: Dr Joachim Schuz from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Dr Lindsay Martin from the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) and Professor Andrew Wood from Swinburne University of Technology.


Dr Martin explained that a mobile phone handset operates at about a quarter of a Watt at full power but typically runs at a hundredth of that power in everyday use. He said despite their low power people were far more exposed to mobile handset signals than from mobile base stations.


Dr Schuz said researchers have already ruled out any potential large risk of brain tumours from mobile phone use by monitoring cancer incidence rates around the world.


However, Dr Wood said science may never be able to completely deliver a clear answer and that people may just have to live with the uncertainty that exists.


AMTA’s new tips site –

AMTA has a launched new website – - to give people handy hints on a range of issues to help them gain access to all the best that their mobile device has to offer in a safe, responsible and affordable manner.


The new website includes information for mobile phone users on a variety of topics including: how to avoid bill shock, how to avoid excessive overseas charges, tips for children and parents on mobile phone use and bullying, safe driving tips and information on mobile phones and health.


AMTA CEO Chris Althaus said the mobile phone industry had launched the site to provide mobile users with practical tips and answers to everyday questions about mobile telecommunications.


“With almost all Australians now using mobile phones to stay connected with friends and family, for work, to shop online, do their banking and to surf the internet, these handy hints are sure to help users get the most out their phones in a safe, responsible and affordable way.” Mr Althaus said.


“AMTA on behalf of its members encourages all mobile phone users to visit to find answers to their questions about mobile phone technology.”


Mr Althaus said users can request more information or provide feedback on the website’s content by clicking on the "contact us" button at the top of the Mobiletips webpage.


Pram pusher mum cops a penalty for using mobile

West Australian police have been forced to apologise to a mother who was fined $250 for talking on her mobile phone while pushing a pram, the West Australian has reported.


The bizarre incident more than a year ago left a black mark next to the officer's name and senior police were forced to withdraw the infringement and apologise 24 hours after it was issued.


A senior constable with the Peel traffic office issued the penalty, which also carries three demerit points, after he spotted the woman talking on a mobile phone as she pushed her baby in a pram along a footpath in April 2011.


The police said they recognised problems with the infringement notice and had cancelled the fine and apologised to the woman.


“The officer concerned had misinterpreted the law involved regarding the definition of a vehicle,” Insp. Bill Munnee said. “No training issue was identified and he should have known better.”


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