Research Says Mobile Phones Don't Cause Cancer

By Sam Gibbs on at

We've heard this before -- mobile phones do/do not (delete where appropriate) cause cancer. I'm probably not in the minority in hoping it turns out to be on the 'do not' side. A large population study out of Copenhagen says they don't.

As with all these studies, it's easier to prove that something does cause something rather than doesn't; but it's looking hopeful that larger-scale monitoring will prove that there isn't an increase in cancer risk with prolonged mobile phone use.

The Danish study followed the whole population of Denmark born after 1925 and over 30. The researchers combined data from both the phone networks and the Cancer Register. The results show that people with 13 years or more of mobile phone use were no more likely to suffer from brain tumours than those without mobiles. The author of the study said:

"The extended follow-up allowed us to investigate effects in people who had used mobile phones for 10 years or more, and this long-term use was not associated with higher risks of cancer."

Sounds like good news to me, but don't just take my word for it. The head of evidence and health information at Cancer Research UK told the BBC:

"These results are the strongest evidence yet that using a mobile phone does not seem to increase the risk of cancers of the brain or central nervous system in adults."

The boffins from the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology in Copenhagen warned that this study couldn't rule out the risk of cancer from mobile phones entirely. Particularly heavy users over a very prolonged period could still be at risk. The saga continues. [BBC, Guardian]

Image credit: Yuri Arcurs/Shutterstock