May 17, 2010

No Link Between Mobile Phones And Brain Cancer

Researchers have found no clear link between mobile phones and brain cancer, although researchers did say that further studies are necessary due to increasingly intensive use.

"The study doesn't reveal an increased risk, but we can't conclude that there is no risk because there are enough findings that suggest a possible risk," the study's chief author, Elisabeth Cardis, told AFP.

The Interphone study results included 2,708 cases of glioma tumors and 2,409 meningioma tumors in 13 countries over a 10-year period.  The study will be published on Tuesday in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

The study did not find any risk of glioma or meningioma tumors after 10 years of using mobile phones.  However, it found "suggestions of higher risk" for the heaviest users.

The study participants that reported using their phones on the same side of their heads for the most time had a 40 percent higher risk of gliomas and 15 percent for meningiomas.  However, the researchers said "biases and errors" prevent making a causal link.

The heaviest users in the study talked an average of half an hour per day on their mobile phones, a figure which is not heavy by today's standards.

The researchers also cited the need for the study of the impact of mobile phone user among young people, who have rapidly become intensive users, and who were not included in the Interphone study.

"Observations at the highest level of cumulative call time and the changing patterns of mobile phone use ... particularly in young people, mean that further investigation of mobile phone use and brain cancer is merited," Christopher Wild, director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which coordinated the study, told AFP.

The researchers said the latest mobile phones have lower emissions, and the popularity of hands-free devices and texting reduces the exposure to the head.

Cardis said the European Union is funding a new study of risks of brain tumors from mobile phones during childhood and adolescence.


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