'No evidence' that mobile phones damage your health, unless you use them while driving
- Children should still be discouraged from excessive phone use
- Driving while using a mobile remains the only established health risk
Convincing evidence that mobile phones damage health is yet to surface despite an 'explosion' in research - a new study claims.
A leading scientist insisted that driving while using a mobile remains the only proven health risk; with the publishing of a report about exposure to radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields.
The review, billed as the most comprehensive yet, found a large number of studies have been published on cancer risks; but claimed none of the results had demonstrated that mobiles cause brain tumours or any other types of cancer.
This should include awareness of nationwide brain tumour trends; which have so far given 'no indication' of any risk, the report said.
The HPA said it would continue to advise a "precautionary" approach and keep the science under close review.
The agency recommends that "excessive" use of mobile phones by children should be discouraged while adults should make their own decision.
Epidmologist Professor Anthony Swerdlow is chairman of the HPA's Independent Advisory Group on Non-Ionising Radiation (AGNIR).
He said the last similar large-scale review was in 2003.
He said: 'There has now been a very large amount of research conducted, which wasn't true 10 years ago, and we have much firmer information than we had on several areas, for instance symptoms, cognitive effects, brain tumours, than we had then.
'There is no convincing evidence that radiofrequency exposure causes health effects in adults or in children.
'I think it is important therefore, to some extent, to keep an eye out on this, which we will do into the future.'
He added that brain tumour rates were not rising in age groups that had been exposed for the last 10 to 15 years.
'This is an exposure that 20 years ago nobody had and now practically everybody has; so you might expect that if there were appreciable effects that you would see them in the tumour rates,' he said.
Dr John Cooper, director of the HPA centre for radiation, chemical and environmental hazards, said: 'There is still no convincing scientific evidence that RF field exposures from mobile phones and other radio technologies affect human health at exposure levels below internationally agreed guidelines.
'However, as this is a relatively new technology, the HPA will continue to advise a precautionary approach and keep the science under close review.