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Children who use mobile phones are at risk of memory loss, sleeping disorders and other health problems.

Dr Gerard Hyland of the University of Warwick says that children are particularly vulnerable to low level, non-thermal, radiation because their immune systems are still developing and their skulls are smaller and thinner than adults'.

Dr Hyland's research findings were published in the latest issue of the medical journal, The Lancet. He said: "Radiation is known to affect the brain rhythms and children are particularly vulnerable."

He explained that the body is an extremely sensitive electrochemical instrument and that the effect of microwaves on the body is a bit like interference on a radio. "It has an impact on the stability of cells in the body. The main effects are neurological, causing headaches, memory loss and sleeping disorders," he said.

His findings coincide with a government announcement that it is to set up a £7 million task force to investigate the possible dangers of mobile phones. The team will be chaired by Sir William Stewart, and will include "brain expert" Professor Colin Blakemore and the World Health Organisation's head of research Michael Repaccoli. ®

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