Adding even more confusion to an already complex issue, the Department of Trade and Industry has published a report concluding that using a personal hands-free kit with a mobile phone reduces exposure to electromagnetic fields from the phone itself.
The new report, sponsored by the government and conducted by SARtest Ltd., an independent consultancy that specialises in measuring radio frequency fields from mobile phones, contradicts another study released earlier this year, when the Consumers Association published a report saying that the wire connecting the phone to the earpiece was acting like an antenna and channelling three times as much radiation to the head.
There was also a study earlier this year, in which the government-appointed Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones (IEGMP) found that there was no conclusive evidence that mobile phones could be harmful, but warned against excessive use of the phones by children.
The new report concludes that hands-free kits offer substantial reductions in exposure to electromagnetic fields compared to the normal use of a mobile phone.
It also concludes that the amount of radiation coming from the phones themselves was well inside the guidelines of the National Radiation Protection Board (NRPB) and the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).
According to the report, keeping the phone in a pocket with the keypad towards the body and using a hands-free kit reduces the absorption by the user.