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Letter: Mobile mystery

Sir: The health minister Tessa Jowell says there is no cause for concern about radiation damage to the brain by mobile phones ("New watchdog to check mobile phone dangers", 10 June). But her appointment of an investigating committee, which she says is vital for the public, suggests otherwise.

One must welcome this appointment and hope for speedy results.

The difficulties may be firstly that new research will take a considerable time to produce reliable results. How long does it take for microwave radiation, and at what level, to produce a brain tumour (if it does at all)? No one knows.

Secondly, the existing evidence seems quite inadequate as a basis for even a preliminary conclusion now. In the meantime, sales of mobile phones expand exponentially.

What does seem to have been established is that different designs of phone produce varying levels of radiation which penetrate the skull. Would it not, therefore, be a sensible precaution for the Government to promote immediately the design and sale of new phones which produce a minimum of penetrating radiation? And would not the mobile phone manufacturers be well advised to proceed with a new design now, both as a defensive measure and as a good selling point?


Southport, Merseyside