Mobile or Cell phones - are they really a health hazard? It's a question that Professor Rodney Croft probably faces at every dinner party or barbecue he attends.
As Executive Director of the Australian Center for Radio Frequency Bio-effects Research, Professor Croft has just joined the University of Wollongong's School of Psychology where he hopes to grow UOW's health psychology stream.
It's a return to his old stamping ground in Wollongong for Professor Croft who has recently left Swinburne University in Victoria where he led a National Health and Medical Research Center of Research Excellence.
A psycho-physiologist with expertise in cognitive neuroscience, Professor Croft continues to lead the "virtual" research group where members are spread across several universities including Swinburne, RMIT, Monash as well as the Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science in Adelaide.
The team has been receiving about $500,000 a year in funding since 2004 and ongoing funding for future research is being sought this year.
And the answer to that perennial question about cell phone safety? According to Professor Croft there is no real scientific evidence to date to suggest we need panic about using cell phones.
"Yes, cell phones do alter brain activity as they can trigger a degree of molecular movement but nothing to raise health concerns. The radio frequency from cell phones are triggering certain interactions within the brain but there is no evidence of dangerous levels of radiation being generated," Professor Croft said.
(Source: University of Wollongong: April 2009)
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