A team from the Karolinska Institute, Sweden, headed by Professor Anders Ahlbom has found that the long-term use of mobile phones may indeed lead to higher rates of cancer - specifically acoustic neuromas.

An eight-year study carried out under the direction of Professor Leif Salford at Lund University, Sweden, concluded that brain damage

from regular long-term cell phone use was "a probability rather than a possibility".

It found that the pulsed microwaves from cell phones erode the blood brain barrier (BBB) whose function is to protect brain cells - the only cells which are not replaced - from toxins and T-cells in the bloodstream.

The toxins usually cause headaches, while T-cells destroy brain cells which they do not recognise as they do not belong in the brain - hence the need for the BBB.

The first symptoms are forgetfulness and short-term memory loss, before the onset of dementia. This is so gradual that the person is often unaware of anything going on.

Two years ago, industry watchdog Powerwatch reported such an alarming increase in Alzheimer's Disease that extra hospital wards were being set up all over the UK to deal with it.

Internationally-renowned biophysicist Professor Gerald Hyland believes microwaves from cell phones, mobile phone masts and digital cordless phones are responsible.

Official Government advice is that children under 16 should only use

cell phones in real emergencies.

Maybe the billions it makes from the sales of licences to telecom

companies and from cell phones explains why they do not publicise this advice widely.

Graham Parfitt,