Mobile Phones Don’t Raise Cancer Risk

A study published in the British Medical Journal has uncovered no link between the incidence of glioma (the most common type of brain tumor) and cell phone use.

The study, conducted by the British branch of the large-scale Interphone survey, surveyed 2,782 people in five areas of the U.K., including 966 people 18 to 69 years of age who were diagnosed with glioma and 1,716 others randomly selected from general practitioner lists. The survey found no relationship between the risk of glioma and the time of first use of a mobile phone; the total time of use of a mobile phone; or the cumulative number of calls or hours of mobile phone use.

The study did find an apparent increase in risk on the side of the head where glioma sufferers reported holding their phone, but research authors do not believe this to be a causal link because almost exactly the same decreased risk was found for the other side of the head. The relationships is perhaps more likely due to reporting bias from glioma sufferers who knew the location of their tumors.

The study agrees with some (but not all) research into the use of mobile phones, and bolsters the idea that use of mobile phones does not seem to raise risks of certain types of disorders. Nonetheless, organizations like Britain’s National Radiological Protection Board do not plan to revise recommendations that, for instance, children should not make unnecessary mobile phone calls. Most parties involved in assessing the long-term impacts of mobile phone use agree additional studies are necessary.