Research link Mobile phones to brain cancers, ill health

mobile phone use associated with brain cancers
mobile phone use associated with brain cancers

A new study published in the Journal of Public Health and Environment has warned over the role of mobile phones in brain cancers.

The warning came following new evidence revealing that rates of a malignant type of tumour have doubled in the last two decades.

Charities and scientists have called on Government to heed longstanding warnings about the dangers of radiation after a fresh analysis revealed a more “alarming” trend in cancers than previously thought.

The research team set out to investigate the rise of an aggressive and often fatal type of brain tumour known as Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM).

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The scientists at the Physicians’ Health Initiative for Radiation and Environment (PHIRE) say the increase of GBM has till now been masked by the overall fall in incidence of other types of brain tumour.

Speaking on this, Professor Denis Henshaw said: “Our findings illustrate the need to look more carefully at, and to try and explain the mechanisms behind, these cancer trends, instead of brushing the causal factors under the carpet and focusing only on cures.”

However, the organisation cautions that because phones are a relatively recent invention it may take many more years until the data is sufficient to make more robust conclusions.

Responding to the new research, Kevin McConway, Emeritus Professor of Applied Statistics at The Open University, said the significance of the trend may be less clear cut than the research group claim.

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On the other hand, he admits there is need to look more closely into the outcome of the research.

“This research does point to something that may well be worth investigating further.

“Other studies in other parts of the world have found similar increases.”

“It’s important, though, to understand that this new paper did not examine any new data at all about potential causes for the increase,” McConway added.

Other factors the study mentioned aside mobile phone use that may explain the GMB trend include: radiation from X-rays, CT scans and the fallout from atomic bomb tests in the atmosphere.

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