More research on mobile phone and cancer link required

The GSMA has welcomed the publication of results for the combined analysis for glioma and meningioma and the link between these tumours to mobile phone use, in the International Journal of Epidemiology, by the Interphone study group.

Tumours of the nervous system are rare and account for less than 2% of all malignancies (about 175 000 cases per year worldwide). Gliomas are a type of brain tumour arising in cells of the brain. Meningiomas arise from cells that make up the covering around the brain. The incidence of brain or central nervous system cancers in the UK is about seven per 100,000 people.

Dr Christopher Wild, director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) said: “An increased risk of brain cancer is not established from the data from Interphone. However, observations at the highest level of cumulative call-time and the changing patterns of mobile phone use since the period studied by Interphone, particularly in young people, mean that further investigation of mobile phone use and brain cancer risk is merited.”

This publication presents results from the combined analysis of the national data collected as part of the 13 country Interphone project coordinated by the (IARC). As these diseases are rare, large numbers of subjects are needed for accuracy.

Dr Jack Rowley, GSMA director for research and sustainability said: “The overall conclusion of no increased risk is in accordance with the large body of existing research and many expert reviews that consistently conclude that there is no established health risk from radio signals that comply with international safety recommendations. The results reported today underscore the importance of utilising complete and thorough data analysis before reaching conclusions.”

The mobile phone industry takes all questions regarding the safety of mobile phones seriously and GSMA has a strong commitment to supporting ongoing scientific research. This particular project is being funded by the mobile phone industry jointly with governments and national health agencies in a way that ensures the complete scientific independence of the work carried out.

Rowley added: “The researchers warn against focussing on the extreme values and that interpretation should be based on the overall balance of the evidence. It is also important to note that the international safety recommendations for mobile phones were reviewed and confirmed in September 2009 as protective of all persons against established health risks.”

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