New Study Shows Mobile Phone Use Does Not Increase Brain Cancer
A new study claims that brain cancer incidence is not compatible with the steep increase in mobile phone use over the years.
Researchers at the University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia) and the University of Sydney (Australia) examined age and gender specific cancer incidence rates in 19,858 male and 14,222 females diagnosed with brain cancer between 1982 and 2012, as well as mobile phone usage data from 1987 to 2012 in order to explore the hypothesized association between brain cancer incidence and mobile phone use. They also modelled expected age-specific rates of relative risks (RR) for brain cancer, assuming a 10-year lag period between use and incidence.
The results showed that the age-adjusted brain cancer incidence rates in adults rose slightly in males, but were stable for over 30 years in females, and were higher overall in males than in females. Major increases in brain cancer incidence were observed only in those aged 70 years or older (in both sexes), but the increase in incidence in this age group began from 1982, before the introduction of mobile phones. The study was published on April 10, 2016, in Cancer Epidemiology.
“Mobile phones produce non-ionizing radiation which is low energy, sufficient only to ‘excite’ the electrons enough to make them just heat up,” said lead author Professor Simon Chapman, PhD, of the University of Sydney school of public health. “We have had mobiles in Australia since 1987. Some 90% of the population uses them today, and many of these have used them for a lot longer than 20 years. But we are seeing no rise in the incidence of brain cancer against the background rate.”
“The observed stability of brain cancer incidence in Australia between 1982 and 2012 suggests that the observed increases in brain cancer incidence in the older age group are unlikely to be related to mobile phone use,” concluded Professor Chapman and colleagues. “Rather, we hypothesize that the observed increases in brain cancer incidence are related to the advent of improved diagnostic procedures when computed tomography and related imaging technologies were introduced in the early 1980s.”
According to the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI, Bethesda, MD, USA), there are three main reasons why people are concerned that cell phones might have the potential to cause certain types of cancer or other health problems:
• Cell phones emit radiofrequency (RF) energy from their antennas. Tissues nearest to the antenna can absorb this energy. • The number of cell phone users has increased rapidly, reaching about 94 % in the western hemisphere. Globally, the number of subscriptions is estimated by the International Telecommunications Union to be five billion. • The number of mobile phone calls per day, the length of each call, and smartphone data usage has increased rapidly.
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