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'Cell phone use doesn't boost cancer risk'

Long or short-term mobile phone use is not associated with an increased risk of the disease, says a study.

india Updated: Dec 06, 2006 14:58 IST

Fears that cell phones might cause cancer appear to be all talk, as a team of Danish researchers have found that long or short-term mobile phone use is not associated with an increased risk of the disease.

The finding is reassuring with long-term use of mobiles increasing. Worldwide users of mobile phones are over one billion and there are growing concerns about the possible health effects of the devices

Mobiles emit radio waves that can penetrate four to six centimetres into the human brain, raising fears that they may trigger malignant changes in brain cells.

Joachim Schüz, Ph.D., of the Danish Institute of Cancer Epidemiology in Copenhagen, Denmark, and colleagues performed a study of 420,095 cell phone users who first subscribed between 1982 and 1995 and were followed through 2002 for cancer incidence.

The researchers could not find any association between either long or short-term mobile phone use and the presence of brain tumours, salivary gland tumours, eye tumours or leukaemia.

"The methods used suggest that the use of cellular telephones does not pose a substantial risk of brain tumours among short-term or long-term users," the authors write.

The study follows a report published earlier this year by the Institute of Cancer Research, which concluded that mobile phone use was not associated with a greater risk of brain cancer.

An independent group for the UK government, led by Sir William Stewart, that looked into the safety of mobile phones in the late 1990s also concluded mobile phones did not appear to harm health.

First Published: Dec 06, 2006 14:34 IST