The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Study gives tomorrow’s mobiles a headache

Amsterdam, Sept. 30 (Reuters): Radio signals for the next generation of mobile phone services can cause headaches and nausea, according to a study conducted by three Dutch ministries.

The study, the first of its kind, compared the impact of radiation from base stations used for the current mobile telephone network with that of base stations for new third generation (3G) networks for fast data transfer, which will enable services such as video conferencing on a mobile device. A base station, which usually covers a “cell” area of several square kilometres, transmits signals to mobile phones with an electromagnetic field.

“If the test group was exposed to third generation base station signals there was a significant impact... They felt tingling sensations, got headaches and felt nauseous,” a spokeswoman for the Dutch economics ministry said. There was no negative impact from signals for current mobile networks.

However, the world’s mobile phone industry said today nothing has been proved by the first survey. “As the effects are small it is unclear whether they have any health significance,” the GSM Association, which represents mobile phone operators around the world, said in a written response to questions.

Cognitive functions such as memory and response times were boosted by both 3G signals and the current signals, the study found. It said people became more alert when they were exposed to both.

Government ministers responsible for economic affairs, health and telecommunications said follow-up research was needed to confirm the findings as well as to look at any longer-term health effects and biological causes.

The double-blind laboratory tests — meaning no one in the survey knew if a 3G-like base station was actually transmitting signals — exposed test subjects to expected levels of average radiation for 3G networks when they become commercial.

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