'I got tumour from phone use' says Wigan man

A Wigan man is campaigning for parents and schools to be aware of the dangers of wi-fi after developing a near-fatal brain tumour.

Neil Whitfield, 52, of Bakewell Drive, Beech Hill, is working with Wired Child, an organisation to protect children from wireless technology, to ensure mobile phone and wi-fi safety for children.

The father-of-six developed a near-fatal acoustic neuroma – a non-cancerous brain tumour growing on the acoustic nerve – in 2001 and, along with his consultant, he believes it was a direct consequence of years of heavy mobile phone use.

He had the tumour removed and suffered facial paralysis for several months and has lost hearing in one ear.

He is now campaigning for parents to ensure their children are not heavily exposed to mobile radiation, including phones and wi-fi equipment.

He said: "The World Health Organisation had an article in the paper saying there is a link between mobile radiation, cancer and tumours on the brain.

"Mobile phones are dangerous for individuals and children using them. I have been campaigning for years for phone companies to label packaging to warn of the dangers.

"There is no way my younger children will have a mobile phone. A child's skull is thinner than ours. Phone radiation heats up the blood vessels in the membrane around the brain and damages them.

"Now I am asking parents to be cautious and urge them to contact their schools and find out of they have installed wi-fi and why they have not been consulted about it.

"Wi-fi is the same technology. Imagine a classroom with 20 odd computers and all the kids in, it's like being contained in a big microwave. Parents should be consulted and given a lot of information.

"If they are used in a sensible way, with a precautionary approach they are reasonably safe.

"Parents are ignorant to the fact phones are dangerous and they need to be educated."

Vicky Fobel, trustee of Wired Child, said: "It's really easy for children to reduce their exposure without having to live without technology.

"Simple things like turning off mobile phones at night rather than sleeping with it under a pillow make a huge amount of difference."

For more information visit www.wiredchild.org