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Cell Phones Suspected In Heart And Kidney Damage

By Sarah Harris - The Daily Mail - London

13th Feb 2000

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 tumours, headaches and premature aging. Now scientists say exposure to the phones low-level radiation causes red blood cells to leak haemogoblin. The build up of haemogoblin, 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 of between 10 and 60 hours. Even at levels lower than those emitted by mobile phones, the cells leaked haemogoblin. Professor Edward Tuddenham, a haematologist 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 haemogoblin 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 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 cause the chances of developing diseases such as Alzeimer's, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's. Symptoms reported by mobile phone users include fatigue, dizzy spells and memory loss. Nearly two in three complain of regularly getting headaches from using their phone, although this may be because of bad posture rather than radiation emissions. Researchers at the University of Surrey say bad posture, particularly holding the phone between the shoulder and cheek to leave the hands free, can cause strain injury and spinal damage. 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.

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