Heavy phone use may cause cancer

Posted by Emma Woollacott

A ten-year study into whether or not mobile phones cause brain tumors has concluded... maybe.

The Interphone project was the largest such study ever. It involved more than 12,800 people worldwide including over 5,000 with brain tumours.

The results showed no definite increase in risk for cellphone users, but were less than conclusive.

"An increased risk of brain cancer is not established from the data from Interphone," said Dr Christopher Wild, director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

"However, observations at the highest level of cumulative call time and the changing patterns of mobile phone use since the period studied by Interphone, particularly in young people, mean that further investigation of mobile phone use and brain cancer risk is merited."

But the study looked only at the effects of cellphone on adults, whereas most concern has centered around the effects on children. In addition, some data looks a little unreliable - some users claimed to be on the phone for 12 hours a day, for example.

"All cell phones sold in the US must comply with the FCC’s radiofrequency exposure standards, which are designed to include a substantial margin of safety for consumers," said John Walls, vice president of public affairs for CTIA-The Wireless Association, one of the sponsors of the report.

"Numerous experts and government health and safety organizations around the world have reviewed the existing database of studies and ongoing research and concluded that RF products meeting established safety guidelines pose no known health risk."