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3G in new health scare

Tingling, nausea and headaches

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There are fears over the safety of next generation phone services today after research found that signals from 3G base stations can cause tingling, nausea and headaches.

The Dutch Government, which carried out the study, said further investigations needed to be carried to out to confirm the results. However, it is already planning to discuss the matter with the European Commission.

Explaining what happened to those who took part in the study, a Government spokeswoman told Reuters: "If the test group was exposed to third generation base stations there was a significant impact. They felt tingling sensations, got headaches and felt nauseous."

On the flip side, the research also found that the signals can improve memory and response times making people more alert.

In a statement the GSM Association said: "The authors of the Dutch study report small statistically-significant effects on exposure to 3G signals but no effects from GSM signals.

"As the effects are small it is unclear whether they have any health significance. As acknowledged by the researchers, the unique design of this experiment needs to be peer reviewed and replicated by other investigators before any conclusions can be drawn.

"The GSM Association has committed about €6 million for co-funded independent research projects that will contribute to on-going health risk assessments by the World Health Organization," it said.

In June, a report published in an Institute of Physics journal found that signals from GSM phones could interfere with heart pacemakers.

The study found that some pacemakers confuse the signals from mobile phones for the heart's own electrical signals, causing the pacemaker to go on the blink.

The report's authors claim newer pacemakers fitted with a ceramic filter are immune to the problem and called on all pacemaker makers to use these filters. ®

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