February 3, 2006 in Nation/World

Studies claim cell phone risk

Nancy McVicar South Florida Sun-Sentinel
 

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Adding new fuel to the debate over cell phone safety, three European research groups in separate studies have found an increased risk of brain tumors in people who have used the phones for 10 years or more.

Two of the studies found a correlation between the tumor’s location and the side of the head where people reported they held the phone. One also suggests the greatest risk is in people who began using the phones before age 20.

Two of the studies, one in England and one in Germany, are part of the 13-nation Interphone Study, an effort to assess possible health risks from the radiation emitted by cell phones. Both studies found an increased risk of glioma, an often deadly brain cancer, in people who had used cell phones 10 years or more.

An earlier Interphone study, reported in 2004 by researchers in Sweden, found an increased risk for a non-cancerous brain tumor called acoustic neuroma after 10 years of cell phone use, but not for glioma.

John Walls, vice president of public affairs for CTIA, The Wireless Association, an industry trade group, said the increase in glioma in people who had used the phones more than 10 years was “statistically insignificant,” and said there is no cause for concern.

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