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Mobile phone users recommended to use hands-free equipment

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Stockholm (dpa) - Mobile telephone users - regardless of age - are recommended to use hands-free equipment, since this reduces exposure to electromagnetic fields, five Nordic agencies that monitor public health and radiation said Tuesday.

However, mobile telephone handsets do not pose a health risk if recommended reference values are respected, the agencies said.

"There is no scientific evidence for any adverse health effects from mobile telecommunication systems, neither from the base stations nor from the handsets, below the basic restrictions and reference values recommended by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection," the agencies from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden said, citing other international studies.

They noted that more research was still necessary, including on "biological effects," although these "effects do not necessarily imply a health hazard."

Pending more definite research results, use of hands-free equipment was a simple, low-cost precautionary measure, the agencies said.

The first modern mobile telephone net was introduced in the Nordic countries in 1981, and other networks have since followed. An estimated 80-90 per cent of the population in the region use mobile phones.

Finland is home of the world's largest handset maker Nokia, while Sweden is base for telecommunications equipment maker Ericsson.

The joint statement was issued by the Danish National Board of Health, the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority of Finland, the Icelandic Radiation Protection Institute, the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority, and the Swedish Radiation Protection Authority.

Copyright 2004 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH


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