Fleet News

Mobile phone users at centre of health scare

COMPANY car drivers' daily use of mobile phones puts them at the centre of a health scare. Recent reports have suggested mobile phones can cause everything from headaches and short-term memory loss, to brain tumours.

Scientist Roger Coghill, who runs Coghill Research Laboratories at Pontypool, South Wales, is campaigning for warning labels on phones stating they should be used for no longer than 20 minutes at a time. He said he has found many cases of regular mobile phone users reporting symptoms such as headaches, loss of concentration, skin tingling or burning, eye tics, poor short term memory and buzzing in their head at night.

A study from the British Defence Establishment Research Agency has found that when parts of a rat's brain are stimulated by the radio waves emitted from a mobile phone it leaves the creature unable to remember simple tasks. But the scientists who carried out the study admit that this does not mean the same effect will happen to humans. Research in the United States claims that the phones will cause an increase in blood pressure and may harm pregnant women.

Mobile phone network providers, such as Cellnet and Vodafone, and manufacturers such as Nokia, are referring all inquiries to the Federation for the Electronics Industry, which has carried out an investigation into the potential dangers. The industry says that company car drivers may well spend more than the average amount of time on mobile phones, but often use 'hands-free' systems, meaning they receive a weaker concentration of radio waves.

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