Mobile phones and computers with wireless internet connections pose a risk to human health and should be immediately banned in schools, a powerful European body has ruled. A Council of Europe committee examined evidence that the technologies have "potentially harmful" effects on humans, and concluded that immediate action was required to protect children, the media reported.
In its report, the committee said it was crucial to avoid repeating the mistakes made when health officials were slow to recognize the dangers of asbestos, smoking, and lead in petrol.
The report also highlighted the potential health risks of cordless telephones and baby monitors, which rely on similar technology and are widely used. Fears have been raised that electromagnetic radiation emitted by the wireless devices can cause cancers and harm developing brains.
Experts are divided on the issue. Les Barclay, the vice-chairman of the Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Programme, said: "There is very little evidence for harmful effects. The powers that mobile phones emit are getting less and less."
Paul Elliot of Imperial College London, who is leading a study on the effects of mobile phone use, said: "There are questions about whether mobile phones might have cognitive effects and affect sleep."