The Department of Health has not updated its advice to consumers for more than four years, while other countries have begun to implement stricter guidance as mobile use has become widespread even among children.

The long-awaited publication of the Interphone final results paper, which will include a public health message, is likely to force a revision of advice even if there is no conclusive proof that mobile phones cause brain cancer. Many experts argue that greater precautionary measures are needed now that there are an estimated 4billion people using mobile phones worldwide.

They believe action must be taken even though proof of a link between the radiofrequency radiation emitted by handsets and health problems has not been proven, because cancerous tumours can take decades to develop, and because it may be difficult to prove an increased risk solely by asking people about their former mobile phone usage.

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