Scientists Add Kidney Damage To The List Of Cell Phone Risk
Journalist: Sarah Harris
December 13, 1999
Mobile phones were at the centre of a new health scare last night after claims they can seriously damage the heart and kidneys.
Earlier reports have already linked their use to brain tumors, headaches and premature ageing.
Now scientists sat exposure to the phones’ low-level radiation causes red blood cells to leak hemoglobin. The build-up of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen around the body, can lead to heart disease and kidney stones.
The findings will heighten alarm over the safety of mobile phones which are used by more than 13 million people in Britain.
In the latest research, scientists exposed samples of blood to varying degrees of microwave radiation for periods between ten to 60 hours.
Even at lower levels than those emitted by mobile phones, the cells leaked haemoglobin.
Professor Edward Tuddenham, a haemotologist at the Imperial College Medical School based in Hammersmith Hospital, West London, said the findings were worrying and he wanted to see the study followed up. ‘The accumulation of hemoglobin in the body could result in heart disease or kidney stones,’ he warned.
The Department of Health said yesterday that the new study – carried out at the European Research Institute for Electronic Components in Bucharest – would be examined by a Government-appointed committee due to report on phone safety next year.
However, the Cambridge based consumer group Powerwatch said with evidence of the risks growing the government needed to do more.
‘We are still very much investigating the biological consequences of mobile phones. But there certainly seems to be enough laboratory studies now saying there are effects, to be very concerned,’ said a spokesman.
Last month, scientists at Sweden’s Lund University found that two minutes of exposure to emissions from mobile phones can disable a safety barrier in the blood causing proteins and toxins to leak into the brain.
This can increase the chances of developing diseases such as Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s.
The Federation of the Electronics Industry yesterday repeated its claim that there was no conclusive proof that the phones were a health hazard.
A spokesman said mobiles operated within strict guidelines on radiation emissions.
‘The consensus of scientific opinion is that there is no consistent evidence that mobile phones operating within these guidelines have any adverse health effects,’ he said.