Brussels, 06 Apr 2005
The UK government is to commission research to identify the future direction of mobile phone technology and the needs for mast developments.
One of the areas of research will be the potential for increased sharing of masts. 'It is important to identify the future direction of mobile phone technology in order to inform policy development and to respond to public interest in this area,' said Planning Minister Yvette Cooper.
The announcement follows the publication of several reports suggesting that masts may represent a health risk, as well as protests in some areas where masts are located.
In January, UK scientists warned that young people are at greatest risk from mobile phones, and recommended that children under eight should not use them. The UK's national radiological protection board also recommended further research on mobile phone masts.
Swedish scientists have also claimed that long-term mobile phone users are nearly twice as likely as non-users to develop a tumour on a nerve connecting the ear to the brain. The EU-funded project 'Risk evaluation of potential environmental hazards from low energy electromagnetic field exposure using sensitive in vitro methods' (REFLEX) has also found that mobile phone radiation could damage DNA cells.