Friday, March 31, 2006

I Hate it When Dad is Right

Study finds cell-phone use raises risk of brain tumor

STOCKHOLM, Sweden — The use of cell phones over a long period of time can raise the risk for brain tumors, a new Swedish study concluded on Friday, contradicting the conclusions of other researchers.

The Dutch Health Council, in an overview of research from around the world, last year found no evidence that radiation from cell phones and TV towers was harmful. A four-year British survey released in January showed no link between regular, long-term use of cell phones and the most common type of tumor.

However, researchers at the Swedish National Institute for Working Life said they looked at the cell phone use of 905 people between the age of 20 and 80 who had been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor and found a link.
"A total 85 of these 905 cases were so-called high users of mobile phones; that is, they began early to use mobile and or wireless telephones and used them a lot," the study said.

"The study also shows that the rise in risk is noticeable for tumors on the side of the head where the phone was said to be used," it added.

Kjell Mild, who led the study, said the figures meant that heavy users of cell phones, for instance, or who make cell phone calls for 2,000 hours or more in their lives, had a 240 percent increased risk for a malignant tumor on the side of the head where the phone is used.

"The way to get the risk down is to use hands-free," Mild told Reuters.

He said his study was the biggest yet to look at long-term users of the wireless phone, which has been around in Sweden in a portable form since 1984, longer than in many other countries.


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