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French government decides mobiles 'may not be safe'

As Air France trials in-flight mobile use

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The French health ministry has issued a statement saying that mobile phones might not be safe, and recommending the use of a hands-free kit at all times to keep the phone away from the body.

This will come as a surprise to Air France, which has just started trials of in-flight calling on one of its Airbus A318 aircraft.

The statement, reported by Reuters, isn't a response to any new research, just concern about phones being marketed towards children.

"As the hypotheses of a risk cannot be entirely excluded, precaution is justified," the statement says.

Air France passengers, meanwhile, are already able to access data services, including SMS, when the newly-installed "Switch Off Your Phone" light is not illuminated - presumably installed where the now-redundant non-smoking symbol used to be. Within the next couple of months they'll be able to make and receive voice calls too.

Any French citizen taking health ministry advice and using a hands-free kit on a crowded flight may well find mobile use hazardous to the health, should the rest of the passengers take umbrage. ®

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