Telegraph: Fresh fears over the health hazards linked to using mobile phones have been raised after scientists found that handset radiation could trigger cell division.
A study found that exposure to mobile phone signals for just five minutes stimulated human cells to split in two – a process that occurs naturally when tissue grows or rejuvenates, but that is also central to the development of cancer.
Previous research on the safety of mobile use has led to conflicting conclusions, with some suggesting links with tumours in the nervous system and others finding no risks.
The six-year Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Programme, which provided £8.4 million of Government and industry funding for 25 studies, is expected to present its final report next month.
Official guidance that mobile phones were safe was based on the mainstream scientific assumption that electromagnetic radiation from such devices could damage cells and tissue only by heating them.
But the new research, reported in this week’s New Scientist, supports the position of those researchers who argue that handsets can trigger potentially harmful changes to cells irrespective of temperature changes.
Prof Rony Seger, a cancer researcher at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, and colleagues exposed rat and human cells to electromagnetic radiation at a similar frequency to that emitted by mobiles but at only about one tenth of the power.
After just five minutes the researchers identified the production of extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK1/2) – natural chemicals that stimulate cell division and growth.