Mobile phones could increase risk of brain cancer

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  • Talking on your phone could increase your risk of developing brain cancer, admits World Health Organisation experts for the first time.

    Radiation produced by mobile phones could increase your risk of brain cancer, the International Agency for Research on Cancer has admitted for the first time.

    Although it was unable to produce evidence of a clear link, it has identified mobile phone as ‘possibly carcinogenic’ – putting them in the same category as petrol exhausts and coffee.

    ‘The conclusion means that there could be some risk, and therefore, we need to keep a close watch for a link between cell phones and cancer risk,’ says Dr Jonathan Samet, chairman of the group.

    With an estimated 5 billion mobiles phones now in use across the world, governments will be under intense pressure to alter their advice concerning the potential dangers of talking or texting on a hands-free device.

    Last year, a study known as Interphone, found that people making calls for more than half an hour a day over 10 hours increase their risk of developing gliomas – a type of tumour – by 40%.

    However, the link between developing cancer and overexposure to mobile phones is still in its infancy as the technology has only been in popular use since the 1990s and longterm research needs to be carried out into the effects.

    ‘The risk of brain cancer is similar in people who use mobile phones compared to those who dont, and rates of this cancer have not gone up in recent years despite a dramatic rise in phone use during the 1980s,’ argues Ed Yong, head of health information at Cancer Research UK.

    ‘However, not enough is known to totally rule out a risk, and there has been very little research on the long-term effects of using phones.’

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