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The Beijing municipal authorities may well be acting in the interests of public health (or rather the millions of visitors that will be coming to Beijing before, during and after the Olympic games) by implementing 'smoking restrictions' -- but it seems that another health time-bomb could just be around the corner. And it's one that China knows, and loves all too well.

Amongst the cacophony of noises that contribute to the soundscape that living in a city brings -- there is one thing that is ultimately clear -- cellphones are everywhere in China. From the teenage schoolchildren blaring out the latest pop music as their ring-tone, to the old folks walking along shouting into their handsets in the Beijing hutongs, everyone it seems, has one.

In February alone of this year according to some reports, China's cellphone users grew by a record 9.36 million -- bringing in the total number of cellphone users in China to an estimated 565 million.

While this figure may well see cellphone manufacturers rubbing their hands together with glee as the number of users rise exponentially, it seems that a top neurosurgeon has an entirely different viewpoint. And one that has some startling possibilities.

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Brain expert warns of huge rise in tumours and calls on industry to take immediate steps to reduce radiation


Mobile phones could kill far more people than smoking or asbestos, a study by an award-winning cancer expert has concluded. He says people should avoid using them wherever possible and that governments and the mobile phone industry must take "immediate steps" to reduce exposure to their radiation.

The study, by Dr Vini Khurana, is the most devastating indictment yet published of the health risks.'

It draws on growing evidence - exclusively reported in the IoS (Independent On Sunday) in October - that using handsets for 10 years or more can double the risk of brain cancer. Cancers take at least a decade to develop, invalidating official safety assurances based on earlier studies which included few, if any, people who had used the phones for that long.

This report is not without it's detractors though; unsurprisingly from the Mobile Operators Association.

Late last week, the Mobile Operators Association dismissed Khurana's study as "a selective discussion of scientific literature by one individual". It believes he "does not present a balanced analysis" of the published science, and "reaches opposite conclusions to the WHO and more than 30 other independent expert scientific reviews".

For many of us, a cellphone is something that we cannot do without -- and messaging at the dinner table is not an uncommon sight here in China. One thing is clear though, cellphones here in China are not going to go away anytime soon, nor are the number of users likely to decline -- with or without this report.

You can read the full article here.

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