Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Study clears mobile phones of brain cancer risk

Using a mobile phone does not increase your risk of brain cancer, according to a new Japanese study that is the first to consider the effects of radiation on different parts of the brain.

The finding adds to the growing body of evidence that mobile phones are safe.

Scientists at Tokyo Women's Medical University compared phone use in 322 brain cancer patients with 683 healthy people and found that regularly using a mobile did not significantly affect the likelihood of getting brain cancer.

They also studied the radiation emitted from different types of phones to assess the affect on different areas of the brain.

“Using our newly developed and more accurate techniques, we found no association between mobile phone use and cancer, providing more evidence to suggest they don't cause brain cancer,” Naohito Yamaguchi, who led the research, said.

His team's findings were published in the British Journal of Cancer.

Scientists around the world have been monitoring the effects of radio-frequency fields on human health for around 60 years.

Public concern over the safety of mobile phones has grown as more and more adults and children rely on them for everyday communication, although the evidence to date has given the technology a clean bill of health.

Despite an explosion in mobile phone use around the world since the 1980s, the number of cases of brain cancer has hardly changed.

A few studies have shown an association between mobile phones and cancer but the majority have found no link. The largest study to date, involving 420,000 people, showed no association with any type of cancer, even after 10 years of use.

“So far, studies have shown no evidence that mobile use is harmful, but we can't be completely sure about their long-term effects. Research is still ongoing,” said Lesley Walker, Cancer Research UK's director of cancer information.

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