§ Mr. Alfred Morris
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if his Department will seek to obtain details of the findings of recent research done in the United States of America into the effects on hearing of portable cordless telephones.
§ Mr. Newton
[pursuant to his reply, 17 December 1984, c. 53]: I understand that the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission carried out an investigation into the possible hearing hazards of cordless telephones. There had been 20 specific complaints up to October 1983 reporting painful ringing headaches and disorientation. Complaints about hearing losses were sometimes associated with them. Laboratory tests on five models of cordless telephones determined the damaging sound levels to be in a range of 123dB to 135dB.
There has been some evidence that problems may result from improper use of the equipment and, in America, some warning literature and stickers have been instituted. British Telecom claims that its cordless telephones avoid these problems of acoustic shock.