Letter: Mobile phone threat

Sir: You report the "Cellphones cancer scare `not proven' " (25 May), and indeed, the published evidence of radiation damage seems to fall short of proof. The National Radiological Protection Board states that the safe emissions level is 10 specific absorption rates. But I have not seen published any scientific evidence to support that. What is the research which has led to the fixing of this figure? How does it prove that this level is safe? And safe from what?

The principle which has regularly been applied in the past is to assume safety until the contrary is proved. The cases of thalidomide and cigarette smoking are lamentable examples.

Once a risk of serious injury has been shown to be reasonably in prospect, surely the burden of proof should be the other way, and we need strong evidence of safety before recommending indiscriminate use to continue. Can the NRPB provide such evidence?


Southport, Merseyside