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Government seeks last word on cellphone health scares

National Radiological Protection Board to investigate

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The Minister for Public Health yesterday ordered an inquiry into health effects of mobile phones, after revelations that they may cause heating of the brain. Tessa Jowell asked The National Radiological Protection Board to set up an independent group to examine the current state of research into the affect of cellphones on human health. In a government statement, Jowell said it would be wrong to ignore the concern due to mounting public worries. "In recent years research interest in the effects of mobile phones has increased. To date there has been no consistent evidence suggesting risk to health but there is continuing public concern about the possibility," she said. According to Jowell, who labelled herself the "champion of public health" in the statement, the public needs clear advice on the use of cellphones. The investigation follows research commissioned from the University of Bristol, released yesterday, which showed mobiles could cause slight warming in the brain (see Official: cellphones won't maim your brain). Jowell said these results, sponsored by the Department of Health, would also be taken into consideration. ®

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