Dáil Éireann - Volume 538 - 21 June, 2001

Written Answers. - Mobile Phone Health Risks.

119. Ms Clune asked the Minister for Health and Children if his attention has been drawn to the fact that new anti-cancer shields are being developed by mobile phone manufacturers; his views on whether this development confirms that mobile phones are a health risk; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18400/01]

Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): The World Health Organisation, which publishes periodic information bulletins on public health and mobile phones, has stated that scientific evidence does not indicate any need for radio-frequency absorbing covers or other absorbing devices on mobile phones. Exposure levels to a user from mobile handsets, while higher than exposure levels from a mobile phone mast, are still below recommended international exposure level guidelines. The WHO advises that if individuals are concerned over exposure levels they might choose to limit exposure to the head by using a hands free device.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer – IARC – a specialist agency of the WHO is co-ordinating a large epidemiology study to identify if there are links between the use of mobile phones and head and neck cancers. The study is anticipated to be completed in 2003.