Regular mobile phone use does not increase brain tumour risk

April 1, 2022
Regular mobile phone use does not increase brain tumour risk

New research from the University of Oxford (Oxford) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has indicated that mobile phone use under everyday conditions cannot be associated with increased risk of brain tumours. Mobile phones are known to emit radiofrequency waves which are “possibly carcinogenic” – although it may be hypothetically possible for radiation from mobile phones to cause brain tumours, epidemiological data suggests otherwise.

According to an infamous 14-year UK Million Woman study, no correlations were found between mobile phone use and brain tumours in the 791,000 women studied. Researchers of the massive project had recruited up to one in four of all women in the UK born between 1935 and 1950 by 2001, and in 2013 sent follow-up questionnaires to gather data on their lifestyle practices and general health.

Based on the latter results, 3,268 women had developed a brain tumour, unrelated to daily mobile phone use. There was also no link to be found between daily mobile phone use and increased incidences of brain tumours, specifically: glioma (a tumour of the nervous system); acoustic neuroma (a tumour of the nerve connecting the brain and inner ear); meningioma (a tumour of the membrane surrounding the brain); pituitary gland tumours; and eye tumours.

It is equally important to note that no difference was found in the rates of tumours appearing on either side of the head in daily mobile phone users. Prior studies have indicated the majority of mobile phone use occurs on the right side of the head – this finding affirms a lack thereof.

“Mobile technologies are improving all the time, so that the more recent generations emit substantially lower output power,” concluded Joachim Schüz, IARC. “Nevertheless, given the lack of evidence for heavy users, advising mobile phone users to reduce unnecessary exposures remains a good precautionary approach.”

[There has been no sign of increasing rates of brain tumours due to mobile phone use in general populations over recent times; the few studies that have detected associations are thought to have underlying bias in recruitment of study participants or in assessing exposure.]

Read: Smartphone breaks do not alleviate boredom or fatigue

Category: Education, Features

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