Texting may put kids at risk

The report revealed that children are the most likely candidates to send text messages, due to their affordability over mobile calls.

"Most parents are buying their children mobiles for safety reasons," said a spokesperson at Ericsson. "Text messages are cheap and easy to use so children tend to prefer them to calls."

The research focuses on the dangerous effects of radioactivity emitted from the handsets, especially when those handsets are held near vital organs, such as liver and kidneys, as may be the case when a child is texting.

"Research is necessary into whether mobile radiation may affect different parts of the body in different ways and hence whether there are additional possible health risks connected with text messaging," says the report.

Mobile phones emit radiation while text messages are being sent, not while they are being composed. When a user makes a mobile phone call, radiation is emitted for the duration of the call.

"This report indicates more research is needed, " said a spokesperson at the BMA. "We want to raise awareness that mobiles are not harmless but we do not think they are extremely dangerous either."

A massive 3.5 million text messages were sent in the UK in the first four months of the year according to research by the Mobile Data Association. It estimates that 25 per cent of all phone calls made in five years time will be from mobiles.

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Wendy Brewer

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