Study: Tumor Risk from Cell Phones
By Nate Mook, BetaNews March 31, 2006, 11:49 AM
Researchers at the Swedish National Institute for Working Life issued a report this week disputing two earlier studies that claimed cell phone use has no correlation to increased brain tumor risk. The Swedish study found that long-term mobile phone exposure could raise the chance of developing cancer.
In January, a four-year study performed by the London-based Institute of Cancer Research and three British universities found that talking on a cell phone had no effect on tumor rates. That research included 966 people with glioma brain tumors and 1,716 healthy respondents. Individuals were questioned on first use, lifetime years of use, cumulative hours of use, and number of calls they made.
However, the new Swedish study is the biggest yet to cover long-term mobile phone usage, including 2,200 cancer patients and an equal number of healthy individuals. It found that a tenth of those with a malignant brain tumor were also heavy phone users -- logging 2,000 hours or more of total talk time. The number correlates to about 10 years of phone activity.
"Of these 905 cases, 85 were so-called high users of mobile phones, that is they began early to use mobile and/or wireless telephones and used them a lot," the study's authors said.
The study also reported a higher risk of a tumor on the side of the head where the phone is held. Overall, the report suggested a 240 percent increased risk of a malignant tumor on this part of the head. Other factors, such as smoking habits and working history were taken into consideration as well.
The Swedish researchers did have one recommendation for people looking to cut down on any potential cancer risk from cell phones: use a headset.