MOBILE phone companies are warning shareholders about the potential health risks of radio signals but aren’t telling their customers.
Nokia, Blackberry, Vodafone and EE have reportedly told investors they could face legal action from users if research finds a link between their phones and cancer.
However, customers are not told about potential risks because there are no warnings on their adverts and packaging, the Sunday Mirror reports.
Last year’s annual report from British Telecom, which owns EE, warned investors it “can’t provide absolute assurance” that there isn’t a link between radio frequency emissions and health risks.
It said: “Media reports have suggested these emissions may cause health issues, including cancer, and may interfere with some electronic medical devices, including hearing aids and pacemakers.
“Research and studies are ongoing. According to the World Health Organization’s Fact Sheet Number 193, last reviewed in October 2014, there are no known adverse effects on health from emissions at levels below internationally recognised health and safety standards.
“Even so, we can’t provide absolute assurance that research in the future won’t establish links between radio frequency emissions and health risks."
Nokia added: “There have been some research results that indicated the possibility that electromagnetic waves emitted from mobile devices and base stations have adverse health effects, such as increasing the risk of cancer.”
It comes after British dad Neil Whitfield filed a lawsuit against Nokia for £1million after claiming his phone caused his brain tumour.
The former salesman, 60, from Wigan, developed an acoustic neuroma tumour between his ear and his brain, leaving him deaf in one ear.
The dad-of-six is the first Brit to sue a mobile company on medical grounds and the landmark case could end up costing the industry millions.
He told the Sunday Mirror: “If companies are warning investors there is a possible risk they should be warning people who use their phones and networks.
“They are being selective with the truth and have decided those with money are more important than the general public.”
Vodafone has said there is currently “no evidence” that phones cause any harm but added: “A change to this view could result in impacts.” Blackberry said that "perceived risks” could result in legal battles.
A Nokia spokesman said safety has always been its “key consideration” and said its phones “comply with international exposure guidelines”.
He said: “The World Health Organisation factsheet states that ‘A large number of studies have been performed over the last two decades to assess whether mobile phones pose a potential health risk. To date, no adverse health effects have been established for mobile phone use’.
“All listed companies have an obligation to inform their investors of risks which the company may face, including the potential for litigation.
"Doing so does not imply any acceptance that the grounds for potential litigation are valid but rather that there may be a risk of it happening.”
British Telecom added: "The strong consensus of the public health agencies around the world, such as the World Health Organisation, is that no health risks have been established from exposure to the low-level radio signals used for wi-fi and mobile communications."
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In France, Orange recalled 90,000 Hapi 30 phones because of their radiation level and last year a court in Ivrea, Italy, ruled there is a link between tumours and phones.
According to Cancer Research UK, scientific evidence shows it is unlikely that mobile phones could increase the risk of brain tumours, or any other type of cancer.
However, the charity says that we still do not know enough to completely rule out the risks.