Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Mobile Phones Linked to Brain Tumors after Long Term Use

The United Kingdom's largest study on the safety of cellular phones has failed to rule out the possibility of long-term cancer risk, and concluded that parents should continue to limit use of cell phones by children over the age of seven and disallow it for younger children.

The Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research (MTHR) program was launched in 2001, with funding from the British government. The study found no evidence of a risk from short-term exposure among adults, but a "very slight hint" of increased risk among those who had been using mobile phones for more than 10 years. The data were at the "borderline of statistical significance," meaning that more research is required.

The reason for the inconclusiveness of the data may be that the study included very few such long-term users.

Some cell-phone critics have accused the study of using selective data to make mobile phones appear safer.

"Normal use of a mobile phone for a couple of minutes may not cause any health effects, but what about calls of 20 minutes?" said Roger Coghill of Coghill Research Laboratories, which specializes in studying the health effects of radiation. "There are many omissions in this report, not least important work on children, and there are biological reasons why we should have concerns about children and old people."

The Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research(MTHR) study did not conduct much research on children, both for ethical reasons and because of the presumption that research on adults could also be applied to children.

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