Healthcare Technology Featured Article

October 21, 2011

Danish Study Also Concludes No Risk To Cell Phone Use


In a study that may finally put the users of mobile phones at ease, Danish researchers have found that mobile phones do not increase the risk of cancer. The study was the largest of its kind on this subject, involving more than 350,000 and published Friday, as reported by Ben Hirschler of Reuters at yahoo.com.

The results, released on the British Medical Journal's website, agree with a series of other studies that have reached similar conclusions, according to Hirschler’s story.

However, since the study compared subscribers to mobile phone contracts, not actual users themselves, it may still leave the issue open, according to a story by Tara Parker-Pope at nytimes.com.

Between 1990 and 2007, scientists from the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology in Copenhagen surveyed people over 30 who had subscriptions to mobile phone contracts and compared their rates of brain tumors with those of people who did not.

The study of 358,403 Danish cell phone plan subscribers over 17 years found those who used cell phones for 13 years or more faced the same cancer risk as non-subscribers, according to a story by KATIE MOISSE at abcnews.com.

Hirschler writes that outside experts said the large scale of the trial was impressive.

"This paper supports most other reports which do not find any detrimental effects of phone use under normal exposures," Malcolm Sperrin, director of Medical Physics at Britain's Royal Berkshire Hospital and Fellow of the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine, told Hirschler.

At the end of May, the World Health Organization's (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer warned that cellphone use should be considered "possibly carcinogenic to humans," putting then in the same category as lead, chloroform and coffee.

Based on the fact that cell phones give off radio-frequency waves, some have raised concerns about the safety of cell phone use, and whether it might increase the risk of brain tumors or other tumors of the head and neck, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS).

Following up a month later on the May announcement by WHO, the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection's committee on epidemiology found that the scientific evidence “increasingly pointed away from a link between mobile phone use and brain tumors,” writes Hirschler. And so far the ACS agrees.

But some clinicians still say the jury is out, according to Moisse.







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