Mobile phone research hits the mainstream

Research into mobile phone use and exposure to microwaves has concluded that the current standard is not safe long-term and needs to be revised. The study, led by R. B. Dubey of Apeejay College of Engineering, Sohna, Gurgaon, India, was an in-depth analysis of research on the health risks associated with microwave exposure from wireless phones. To date only eleven published studies have provided data on the risk of developing brain tumours in long-term cell phone use of ten years or longer.

A series of studies called the Interphone studies, largely funded by the wireless communications industry, concluded that cell phone use did not increase the risk of brain tumours. But an independent series of studies led by Swedish cancer specialist Dr Lennart Hardell reached a different conclusion. These studies were not funded by the cell phone industry. The findings showed that the more hours of cell phone use over time, the higher the risk of developing brain tumours. Risk also increased with the level of power emitted by the wireless device, younger age when first using the wireless device, total exposure and number of years since first exposure.

Having analysed the pool of data, the researchers found that long-term cell phone use approximately doubles the risk of developing a glioma or acoustic neuroma on the side the user typically holds the phone. This conclusion is consistent with the data from the Interphone study.

Exactly how the microwave radiation from cell phones increases the risk of brain cancer is unclear. There are special concerns about the risks in much younger age groups, since in the adult brain the cell signal is absorbed up to two inches into the skull. Further research is clearly needed, meanwhile the researchers recommend less phone use, more texting, restricting young children’s mobile phone use and wearing a headset or using the ‘loudspeaker’ mode instead of holding the phone to the ear.

Source: The Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography

For more research into mobile phones

First Published in January 2011

Top of page