The latest study of the possible link between cell phone use and brain cancer found no definable evidence of that link. However, there have been many calls by highly regarded physicians, researchers and government officials warning of possible effects over time. The main concern is that cell phone use among the young, especially teenagers, did not really take hold as a social phenomenon until the late 1990’s. They postulate that exposure from long phone calls, the types most likely to be made by teens and young adults, over a 10-20 year period will have a deleterious effect on health. Long term exposure to even low levels of radiation, we know, is not a good thing. So there is reason for concern. That being said, legitimate epidemiological studies in the United States, and now in Scandinavia have consistently failed to find a causative link between cell phone use and brain tumor development. Additionally, this latest study confirmed, as earlier ones have, that no statistically significant increase in the incidence of the most common types of brain tumors has occurred over the past 20 years or so.
Still, we know for sure that the most observable risk of cell phone usage is while driving. The link between cell phone usage and driver distraction is clear and as a cause of accidents cannot be refuted. It still amazes me to see how many persons, of both sexes and all ages, drive with one hand while holding a cell phone to their ear with the other. More and more states and municipalities are outlawing cell phone use in school zones all together, as well as enacting hands free statutes. Hands free devices are cheap and ubiquitous so it is unclear why drivers are unwilling to use them. It would seem that much as with mandatory seat belt laws which came about in the 1960’s and 1970’s there is resistance to telling folks how to use their cell phones. Nevertheless, the most immediate and definable risk from cell phone use is while driving. So please – get a head set, ear phone, hands free device of some type, they are not expensive – and USE IT. A car accident will kill you long before the brain tumor will . . . ben kazie md
Analysis of data on 60,000 people diagnosed with glioma and meningioma in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden revealed that the incidence of brain tumors…were stable, decreased, or gradually increased, starting before cell phones became popular. They also found no change in incidence of brain tumors…during a period of rapid increase in cell phone usage. The new study, published in the Dec. 3 online issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, found no cell phone-related increase during this study period. Researchers from Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden say they found that the incidence of brain tumors in the studied population of people from the four countries remained stable, decreased, or showed only a gradual increase that started before the introduction of the wireless devices between 1974 and 2003. Mobile phone use in those Nordic countries rose dramatically in the mid-1990s, the study says. Lead author Isabelle Deltour, PhD, of the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology of the Danish Cancer Society, and colleagues say they found no change in incidence trends of brain tumors in data going back to 1998. They mentioned several possible reasons for their finding:
The induction period relating cell phone use to brain tumors exceeds five to 10 years;
The increased risk is too small to be observed;
The increased risk is restricted to subgroups of brain tumors or cell phone users;
There is no increased risk of brain cancer by using cell phones.
Four-country study finds no cancer link to cellphone usage – http://www.usatoday.com/tech/wireless/phones/2009-12-03-cell-phones_N.htm
Cell Phones and Brain Tumors: No Connection? – Study Finds ‘No Observable Effect’ of Cell Phone Usage on Brain Tumor Incidence – http://www.webmd.com/cancer/brain-cancer/news/20091203/cell-phones-and-brain-tum