No link between mobile phones and tumours

Berlin, February 27:

Mobile phone users can take heart. A new British research, part of a worldwide study initiated by the World Health Organisation (WHO), has found that there is no link between cell phones and brain tumours.

The study conducted at the Institute of Cancer Research involved researchers from several universities.

The experts looked at links between mobile use and the incidence of glioma, the most common kind of tumour found in the head.

The study looked at 966 patients with a glioma tumour over more than three years, alongside a control group of 1,716, probing their use of phones.

The team found nothing that indicated that using a mobile phone increased the risk of suffering a brain tumour, although they did find that the probability risk was slightly increased. But the increase was statistically insignificant, according to German specialist Frank Gollnick, a biologist and scientific adviser to a research association looking into mobile telephony.

The recently published results are only part of the Interphone study being coordinated by the WHO. The study, which was launched in October 2000, is the largest of its kind into the possible link between mobile phone use and brain tumours. Bernd Rainer Mueller, mobile telephony expert of the German Association for the Environment and Nature Conservation (BUND) sees no reason to doubt the recently released conclusions.

“Scientific methodology is not selective enough to record and represent the additional burden caused by these electromagnetic fields,” Mueller said.

No previous study has covered so many subjects, who include not only a high number of tumour patients, but also many long-term mobile phone users.

In 2004, the results of a partial study conducted in Sweden were released that indicated that mobile phone users did in fact incur a higher risk of an acoustic neurinoma, a growth in the nerves governing hearing and balance.