A massive investigation into mobile phone safety has failed to rule out risks of brain damage and cancer. Experts say there are still large gaps in scientific knowledge about what radiation is doing to users’ bodies and brains. The results of a three-year study highlighted continuing uncertainty over the safety of handsets. Parents were urged to limit mobile phone use by children because of the potential damage. Campaigners have long feared that users of Britain’s 50 million phones are risking cancer, brain damage, Alzheimer’s disease, sleeping disorders and memory loss because of radiation emitted by handsets directly into the head. Now the report says there may be other hidden problems because mobiles have been in widespread use among British people for only a few years.
Professor Anthony Simons, who led the study, said: ‘We cannot be sure what will be found and the possibility of an effect still remains’. ‘It’s still early days, particularly on the use of handsets,’ he added. ‘There could still be effects we don’t know about. We can’t predict what we are going to learn tomorrow. In the meantime, excessive use of mobile phones by young children should be discouraged. While children are growing and developing, they are more susceptible to all sorts of things. About a quarter of mobile phone users are under 18, with many having been given them by their parents so they can easily stay in touch. Those under ten are thought to be particularly vulnerable because their skulls are thinner and may allow radiation to penetrate deeper into the brain. Also their nervous systems are still developing’.
1. Write a title in English which best summarises the text and justify your answer. (25-40 words)
2. Explain in English the meaning of the following expressions as used in the text.
a) widespread use: means that a lot of people use them everywhere.
b) potential damage: is damage which they think mobile phones could cause in the future.
3. Complete the second sentence of each pair so that it has the same meaning as the first one.
a) ‘We can’t predict what we are going to learn tomorrow’, the Professor said.
b) Parents were urged by investigators to limit mobile phone use by children.
- The Professor said that that they / we couldn’t predict what they / we were going to learn in the future / tomorrow.
- Investigators urged parents to limit mobile phone use by children.
4. Answer the following questions in your own words. The information must be taken from the text.
a) According to the report, why does the possibility of problems still remain?
b) Are the results of the study in favour of or against mobiles?
5. Are you in favour of or against mobile phones? Why? (Minimum 80 words, maximum 100 words)
I am personally in favour of mobile phones for many reasons. Firstly, I feel safer if I take one with me when I go out at night. My parents can phone me if they feel worried, and on the other hand I can phone them in an emergency, if I miss the last bus or if there are not any taxis near. The mobile phone is useful if you want to arrange to meet your friends. I especially like it when my friends send me messages because in that way they are really telling me they are interested in me.