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Official: Hands-free kit will fry your brain

Sorry, that was meant to say won't. Wasn't it?

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Here we go again. The Consumers Association, annoyed at having its findings dismissed last time by the government, has done another series of tests on mobile hands-free kit and found again that it actually increases the radiation to your brain.

The idea is that the wire acts as an aerial and induces more radiation from the phone zoom straight into your jellified head. The physics is sound, but does it happen? Yes, said CA in July. No, said the DTI in August.

Meanwhile, we found a man that explained it was all in the testing. Basically we're talking specific absorption rates. Some phones have peaks at various frequencies but if you wanted to, say, make the peak smaller, you would average out the SAR level over a wide range of frequencies. You follow?

Anyway, there's more controversy here. The CA has done its new report and said that, yes, hands-free kit can increase the amount of radiation. It has also said why it thinks tests by Australian scientists are a little dodgy. Apparently, in those tests, the hands-free wire was not allowed to hang down straight (a fairly realistic scenario it must be said). As we're talking induction here, a straight wire would be far more likely to give higher radiation results. Hmmm.

The DTI said it has problems with CA's methodology.

Well we have problems with all of them. If mobiles were dangerous, would the DTI really tell us? Note that mobile phone companies make a lot of money and are quite important to the economy. Equally, wouldn't the CA release the worst radiation results? I mean, if they're measured, then they're there aren't they?

We would like to see people stop arguing amongst themselves and arrive at a good, solid, universal test. Then we can begin work on how dangerous they really are in practical terms and what we do about it. Call us crazy. ®

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