Government Responds On Cell Phone Report
June 29, 2000
The Government has published its response to the Cell Phone and Health report from the independent expert group (Stewart group).
It accepts the conclusions of the risk assessment of cell phone technology set out in the report and agrees, in line with the recommended precautionary approach, that the emissions from cell phones and base stations should meet the ICNIRP guidelines for public exposure as recommended by the EU Council.
On the use of cell phones whilst driving the Government is relying on publicity campaigns but is open to strengthening legislation if the police need further powers to enforce the law on this.
The Chief Medical Officer will be discussing with the Stewart Group how best to ensure that parents are aware of the recommendations concerning the use of cell phones by children. Exclusion zones and controls over base stations near schools are also being considered.
Lobby groups will be encouraged to see that the Government agrees that shielding devices and hands-free kits should be independently tested and carry clear information about their effectiveness.
The overall conclusion is that there is an urgent need for further research into the potential health effects of mobile communications equipment. The Government is commissioning a comprehensive programme of research costing several millions of pounds, which will result in further research findings emerging over the next few years. As wireless technologies expand and 3rd generation phones come on stream this work will specifically encompass emerging radio-based technologies as well as current equipment.