Study finds no link between brain cancer and cell phone use

By Lee Kaelin on October 21, 2011, 1:00 PM

A new study by the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology in Denmark suggests there is no link between brain cancer and the use of mobile phones. The study looked at more than 350,000 users over an 18 year period.

In conclusion, the researchers said users were at no greater risk than anyone else of developing brain cancer. They followed up on a previous study that found there was no significant difference in the rates of brain or central nervous system cancer between those that used phones, and those that did not.

These latest findings published on the British Medical Journal website appear to confirm previous studies that came to similar conclusions. The Department of Health still continues to advise that anyone under the age of 16 should only use phones in case of emergency or for essential usage, and keep all calls short. The World Health organization places mobiles in the same category as coffee, warning that they could be carcinogenic, and that scientific studies have been unable to either prove or disprove this theory.

Although they said the risk was no higher in those that have been using mobile phones for many years, the researchers still acknowledged that excessive phone use warranted continued follow up to ensure cancer cells were not developing over the longer term, and to see the longer term effects it had on children.

Hazel Nunn, head of evidence and health information at Cancer Research UK, said: "These results are the strongest evidence yet that using a mobile phone does not seem to increase the risk of cancers of the brain or central nervous system in adults." Professor Malcolm Sperrin, director of medical physics at Royal Berkshire Hospital, added: "The findings clearly reveal that there is no additional overall risk of developing a cancer in the brain although there does seem to be some minor, and not statistically significant, variations in the type of cancer."

The researchers did comment however, that there are limitations to the study. The greatest one being the exclusion of corporate users, likely among the heaviest users of mobile phones. Others disputed the study's findings saying it wasn't long enough to gauge long-term risk, since brain tumors can take decades to form.

Image via Wallenrock/Shutterstock

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