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Mobile phones not linked to brain cancer: new study
Thu Jan 19 2006 08:47:41 ET

British researchers say they have found no evidence to support fears that mobile phones cause brain cancer.

The new study, published online on Friday by the British Medical Journal (BMJ), covers mobile phone use by 966 Britons aged 18-69 who were diagnosed between 2000 and 2004 with glioma, a rare but highly malignant brain tumour.

The researchers compared these results with similar interviews conducted among 1,700 healthy people, AFP reports.

The probe found that there was no additional risk from mobile phones, as determined by the number of years the phone had been in use; the age at which it was first used; the number of calls made; and the number of hours a person spent talking on it.

The team did note that there was a significant tendency for a brain tumour to occur on the same side of the head where the user said he had usually placed the phone.

But, they suggest, this figure could be "recall bias" -- cancer patients, aware of the scare about mobile phones, may have been prompted to attribute their tumour to the gadget.

The study only covers use of mobile phones for up to 10 years. It does not apply to longer-term use.

However, some individual studies have suggested there could be a cancer risk from using mobile phones in rural areas, where electromagnetic signals are stronger in order to compensate for the greater distance between relay stations, and from using older-generation analogue phones.

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