Australia prepares mobile phone radiation report

Results of an Australian government Senate inquiry into electromagnetic radiation from mobile phones will be released Friday and will be used to determine emission standards and current regulations.

The inquiry was extended for six months after receiving almost 150 submissions on the health impact of mobile phone use, many urging increased emission standards and further funding for radiation research.

The report will determine if Australia will follow the United Kingdom example of issuing warnings against children using mobile phones and set a new standard on electromagnetic emissions.

The United Kingdom made the move as part of a package of precautions following recommendations from the Stuart Inquiry into the effects of mobile phone use.

That inquiry found while no evidence existed to prove mobile phones caused physical harm, young people were at greater risk of any potential damage because their bodies were still developing.

Ross Monaghan, CEO of Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA), said the industry would support any recommendations consistent with an open approach to mobile phones, including calls for more research or better consumer information.

“The senators heard a range of views; however, I think it’s fair to say that the overwhelming consensus is that there is no scientific evidence of health risks from mobile phones,” he told AAP news wire.

“I would be surprised if the senators came to any conclusion but that.”

The government last year announced a A$1.2 million (US$624,000) research project into brain and other tumors in adults and exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic energy, headed by Professor Bruce Armstrong from the Cancer Control Information Centre of the NSW Cancer Council.

Mobile phone radiation levels will also be displayed on packaging after a deal between AMTA and the Australian Communications Authority.

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