There is growing evidence against the hypothesis that mobile phone use can cause brain tumours in adults, a new scientific study suggests. The study is at odds with a WHO study last month that classed radio signals from phones as “possibly carcinogenic” to humans.
The study is by the International Commission for Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection.
The Standing Committee on Epidemiology notes that as mobile phone use has grown from zero to almost 4.6bn subscribers worldwide, concerns that mobile phones might cause cancer, especially brain tumours, have risen.
It set out to review the evidence on whether mobile phone use raises the risk of the main types of brain tumour, glioma and meningioma, with a particular focus on the recent publication of the largest epidemiological study yet – the 13-country Interphone Study.
A report last month from WHO scientists has classified mobile devices as possibly carcinogenic to humans based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant form of brain cancer associated with mobile phone use.
The new study, however argues, against this. The researchers combined the results of all epidemiological, biological and animal studies, together with brain tumour rates.
Its findings suggest it is unlikely that mobile phones increase the risk of brain tumours in adults.
It states: “Methodological deficits limit the conclusions that can be drawn from Interphone, but its results, along with those from other epidemiological, biological and animal studies, and brain tumour incidence trends, suggest that within about 10-15 years after first use of mobile phones there is unlikely to be a material increase in the risk of brain tumours in adults. Data for childhood tumours and for periods beyond 15 years are currently lacking.
“Although there remains some uncertainty, the trend in the accumulating evidence is increasingly against the hypothesis that mobile phone use can cause brain tumours in adults,” it said.
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