Mobile phones may be linked to cancer: Study

Mobile phones may be linked to cancer: Study

Long-time users face a higher risk of developing brain tumours

According to ‘The Daily Telegraph’ newspaper, the decade-long investigation overseen by the World Health Organisation will publish evidence that heavy users face a higher risk of developing brain tumours later in life. Even though the conclusion of the research will be revealed only later this year, a preliminary breakdown of the results found a “significantly increased risk” of some brain tumours “related to use of mobile phones for a period of 10 years or more” in some studies, the report in the British daily said.

The conclusion of the 20 million pounds study, while not definitive, will undermine assurances that the devices are safe.

Several countries, notably France, have started strengthening warnings in this regard and American politicians are urgently investigating the risks.

The Interphone inquiry has been probing the link between exposure to mobile phones and three types of brain tumour and a tumour of the salivary gland.

Its head, Dr Elisabeth Cardis, backed new warnings.
“In the absence of definitive results and in the light of a number of studies which, though limited, suggest a possible effect of radiofrequency radiation, precautions are important,” she was quoted as saying by the London daily. The landmark international project carried out research in 13 countries, interviewing tumour sufferers and people in good health to see whether their mobile phone use differed. It questioned about 12,800 people between 2000 and 2004, the report said.

“I am therefore globally in agreement with the idea of restricting the use by children, though I would not go as far as banning mobile phones as they can be a very important tool, not only in emergencies, but also maintaining contact between children and their parents and thus playing a reassurance role,” Cardis underlined.

Previous research into the health effects of mobile phones, in the short time they have been in use, has proved inconclusive.

However, a breakdown of the latest findings, seen by The Telegraph, shows that six of eight Interphone studies found some rise in the risk of glioma (the most common brain tumour), with one finding a 39 per cent increase.