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




User Comments: 8

Got something to say? Post a comment
andy06shake said:

of course they dont cause brain cancer, or anything else!!! Cant sell mob phones if they do, eh?

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

They had the wrong test subjects. Should have used 15 year old girls who seem to have their cell phones permanently implanted on their ears. :p

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

TomSEA said:

They had the wrong test subjects. Should have used 15 year old girls who seem to have their cell phones permanently implanted on their ears. :p

Thank you. Danish businessmen are hardly the representative cell phone user in 2011.

Romans probably thought they were very clever about getting fresh water piped into their homes...in lead pipes.

MilwaukeeMike said:

gwailo247 said:

Thank you. Danish businessmen are hardly the representative cell phone user in 2011.

Romans probably thought they were very clever about getting fresh water piped into their homes...in lead pipes.

Actually the romans didn't have problems with lead pipes because their water had so much calcium that a protective layer formed in the pipes.

Anyway... I'll file this one right next to vaccine's cause autism, butter is worse than partially hydroginated margarine, and aspertame's cancer links.

Maybe this team will do airport security scanners next.

Guest said:

Cell phones may not cause cancer, but I'm convinced that cell phones and texting cause "stupidity".

nelldnine nelldnine said:

Guest said:

Cell phones may not cause cancer, but I'm convinced that cell phones and texting cause "stupidity".

which is equal to cancer?

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

milwaukeemike said:

Anyway... I'll file this one right next to vaccine's cause autism, butter is worse than partially hydroginated margarine, and aspertame's cancer links.

Maybe this team will do airport security scanners next.

The difference is that vaccines have been used for decades and proven to be safe.

There have been NO studies done on the long terms effects of cell phone use on developing minds as brain cancer, Alzheimers, etc, typically take decades to manifest, which is about 30-40 years away for even the earliest adopters of cell phones.

The point is not that cell phones ARE dangerous, the point is that not enough time has passed with this new technology in order to rule out long term problems.

Once we pass the midpoint of this century, then we can start making informed statements about the long term effects of cell phone use.

I know that you want to believe that they're safe, but the data is still not there. Most kids did not get cell phones until MAYBE ten years ago, and for most it was sooner than that. Sorry, but you're not going to be able to extrapolate anything about the long term effects of cell phone use until those kids get old.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

gwailo247 said:

Most kids did not get cell phones until MAYBE ten years ago, and for most it was sooner than that. Sorry, but you're not going to be able to extrapolate anything about the long term effects of cell phone use until those kids get old.

Even then those that do will just get told they were holding them wrong ... sorry I couldn't help myself

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.