Mobile Phones and Health 

Like television and radio, mobile phones use radio frequency (RF) to communicate information. Radio signals are sent to the nearest base station, which sends the signal to a digital telephone exchange where it is connected to the receiving phone via another base station.

What do I need to know about mobile phones and health? 

When a call is made or received from a mobile, it emits an RF signal so it can communicate with the nearest base station (the closer the base station, the lower the exposure from the mobile phone will be). When a person is exposed to an RF field, it penetrates a few centimetres into the body and is absorbed as heat, which is measured using specific absorption rate (SAR) values.

There has been extensive research into the effects of mobiles and masts on human health and the consensus of scientific opinion is that there is no proven adverse health effect if guidelines are complied with. The World Health Organisation, for example, has stated that, on the basis of present scientific information, there is no indication of a need for special precautions with regard to mobile phone usage.

The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection public exposure guidelines set safety standards for SAR values. Current research indicates that exposure to RF below these guidelines presents no health risk. But there are still significant gaps in scientific knowledge, in particular on the effects of long-term (over 10 years) mobile phone use.

What action can I take? 

If you’re concerned about the health effects of mobile phones, the World Health Organisation suggests precautionary measures that you and your child can take, such as:

Encourage them to keep their mobile calls short or text instead so that the mobile is not near their head for long periods of time

Buy your son or daughter a hands-free set to distance the mobile from their head and body

Where can I go for more information and support?