Children’s mobile phone pulled from market after warnings

Commun8 has pulled the MyMo, a mobile phone aimed at children, off the UK market following a government backed study warning of the health risks mobile phone use poses to children.

Sales of the MyMo, the UK's first mobile phone specifically designed for children, were immediately halted by Commun8 after it studied the report, "Mobile Phones and Health", published by the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB) yesterday.

Aimed at children between 4 and 8 years old, the MyMo phone hit the market last November and was designed to give parents piece of mind in being about to quickly and easily stay in touch with their offspring.

"The product has been withdrawn from the market. We read very carefully the NRPB report, we listened closely to the tone of subsequent interviews given by (NRPB Chairman) William Stewart and decided to act quickly. We absolutely do not want to damage children's health," a Commun8 spokesman said.

The number of children between 7 and 10 years old using a mobile phone has doubled since 2001, to one in four, according to the study. But the NRPB study warned that children may be more vulnerable to radio frequency (RF) radiation exposure because of their developing nervous system, the greater absorption of energy in the tissues of the head and a longer lifetime of exposure.

The study stresses that though no conclusive evidence currently exists that mobile phones are harmful, a cautious approach of risk management, especially in relation to children, should be taken by the government and consumers. There are currently around 50m mobile phones being used in the UK today compared with about 25m in 2000.

The MyMo stores up to five numbers that can be dialled automatically through one of three buttons located on the front of the phone. According to the Commun8 spokesman, about 40,000 of the phones have been sold throughout Europe over the last nine to 12 months through various outlets, including but not limited to Commun8.