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Old mobile phones linked to brain tumours

Long-term users of some first generation mobile phones are almost twice as likely as non-users to develop brain tumours, according to recent study.

Old mobile phones linked to brain tumours

Long-term users of some first generation mobile phones are almost twice as likely as non-users to develop brain tumours, according to a recent study. Microwave exposure from the use of cellular telephones has been discussed in recent years as a potential risk factor for brain tumours. The study was carried out by researchers at the National Institute for Working Life in Stockholm of 1,617 Swedish patients aged 20–80 years of both sexes diagnosed with brain tumours between 1997 and 2000. The Swedish patients all used analogue mobile phones, which were replaced in the late 1990s by digital handsets. Exposure was assessed by a questionnaire that was answered by 1429 (88%) cases and 1470 (91%) controls. It was found that those who used first generation analogue mobile phones had a third higher risk of developing brain tumours than those who had not used cell phones. The risk of a tumour was particularly high on the side of the brain close to where the phone was usually held. Use of a telephone on the opposite side of the brain was not associated with an increased risk. The report also warned that for people who used the analogue cell phones for more than 10 years the risk was 80 per cent greater. The study found an increased risk for brain tumours among users of analogue cellular telephones, but no clear association was found for digital or cordless telephones, those sold nowadays.
European Journal of Cancer Prevention, August 2002, Vol. 11 (4)
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