Mobiles get clean bill of health - for now

Using your mobile may not give you cancer but there are still fears over long-term exposure

Mobile phones and base stations are not harmful to our health, according to a report released by the Irish government. The report, written by a group of experts including a former World Health Organistion co-ordinator, found that there is no risk - at the moment.

Many believe that the long-term use of mobile phones and living in close proximity to base stations, which relay mobile phone signals, can cause cancer and other debilitating conditions. However, there has never been any concrete evidence to support this.

"So far no adverse short or long-term health effects have been found from exposure to the radio frequency signals produced by mobile phones and base station transmitters. Radio frequency signals have not been found to cause cancer," the report said.

However, the report did state that although there is limited scientific evidence linking base station locations and childhood cancer, a link "cannot be dismissed". It goes on to say more research is needed on this.

It was noted that the UK and the Netherlands both take a "precautionary approach" to allowing children to use mobiles - something we think they'd change if they rode our bus into work every day.

The report also dismissed a link between electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) - where people living near a base station suffer from sleeplessness, depression, skin and eye complaints - and the electromagnetic fields base stations give out.

One danger the report did underline was the risk of using a mobile while driving - even stating that using a handsfree kit is dangerous.

Last month, the UK government increased the penalties for those caught using a mobile while driving - three points on your licence and a £60 fine.