French ministry issues note of caution on excessive mobile use

3 Jan 2008

France’s Health Ministry yesterday issued a warning against the excessive use of mobile phones, particularly among younger members of society, although it confirmed that there was as yet no scientific evidence that cellular technology was ‘dangerous’. The move comes in the wake of the appearance on the market of a number of handsets tailored specifically for children which has raised concerns since younger people as believed to be more vulnerable to possible health risks. Reuters reports the Ministry of Health, Youth and Sports as saying ‘As the hypothesis of a risk cannot be entirely excluded, precaution is justified … One should use a mobile phone with good judgment, avoid calling when reception is poor, or during high speed travel, and finally, keep the telephone away from sensitive areas of the body by using a hands-free kit.

In November 2006 a report from the World Health Organisation (WHO) said that all available research at that time suggested that long-term exposure to radio-frequency and microwave radiation from cell phones had no adverse health effects. Nonetheless, the WHO is mindful of other studies which point to a possible elevated risk of tumours in people who have been using an analogue phone for more than ten years.