|No Link Found Between Cell Phone Use and Brain Tumors|
|By Ellen Kuwana
Neuroscience for Kids Staff Writer
March 2, 2001
Bbrring, bbrring. You hear them everywhere. Restaurants, parks, shopping malls--everywhere you look, someone somewhere is using a cellular phone. There is no debate about the convenience of these phones. What remains controversial is their safety. Could using a cell phone increase your chance of developing brain cancer?
Researchers in Denmark published the largest study to date on cell phone use and cancer risk. The scientists found NO increase in cancer risk among Danish cell phone users compared with Danish people who did not use cell phones. The researchers compared the incidence of nervous system tumors, leukemia (cancer of the white blood cells) and salivary gland tumors in the two populations. Two earlier smaller studies in the United States came to similar conclusions.
|The Danish research is the first nationwide study of this type and was possible because in Denmark every citizen is assigned a unique identification number at birth. The two companies that provide cell phone service gave the researchers the ID numbers of their customers for the years between 1982 and 1995, and the researchers looked at the Danish Cancer Registry to calculate the number of cell phone users who had cancers of various types. This information was compared with cancer rates for the general population in Denmark.|
|While this news is comforting to cell phone users, a few concerns
about cell phone have yet to be resolved.|
|The upside to this concern over cell phones is that many manufacturers are now disclosing their products' radiation levels, allowing consumers to make an informed choice when purchasing a cell phone. Every phone sold in the United States must meet federal radiation safety limits. Newer digital models emit less radiation than older analog phones. Furthermore, the type of radiation emitted by a cell phone is nonionizing radiation, which is less destructive than other types, such as those you are exposed to when suntanning.|
|At this time, there is no clear link between cancer and cell phone use. Cell phone users are no more likely to develop benign or malignant tumors than people who have never used a cell phone. Nevertheless, it might be wise to limit cell phone calls to necessary ones, use an earphone. Perhaps most importantly, people should be careful when driving and talking on a cell phone.|
|Did you know?||
|BACK TO:||Neuroscience In The News||Table of Contents|
Fill out survey