April 6, 2006

FDA to review wireless phone safety

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug
Administration said on Thursday it will review wireless phone
safety following a recently published study that raised
concerns about a heightened risk of brain cancer.

Swedish researchers said last month the use of cellular
phones over a long period of time can raise the risk of brain
tumors. Their findings contradict a number of earlier studies
and are "difficult to interpret," the FDA said in comments
posted on its Web site.

Still, the agency said it "plans to convene a meeting in
the near future to evaluate research conducted to date in this
area and identify gaps in knowledge that warrant additional

It also will continue to monitor studies for possible
health problems stemming from exposure to radio frequency

The researchers at the Swedish National Institute for
Working Life compared data from 2,200 cancer patients and an
equal number of healthy patients.

Those who heavily used wireless phones had a 240 percent
increased risk of a cancerous tumor on the side of the head
where they used their phone, they reported.

Their results, published in the International Archives of
Occupational and Environmental Health, defined heavy use of
wireless phones as 2,000 or more hours, or about one hour per
day for 10 years.