A new long-term study by the British Institute of Cancer Research reports that there is still no credible evidence that cell phones cause brain tumors.
Researchers considered studies from Britain, Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden, countries which were some of the first to have cell phones, and evaluated the possible health impact of cell phone use over the last decade.
The study, which is published in the British Journal of Cancer, considered the risk of acoustic neuroma, or benign tumors that grow in the nerve connecting the ear and inner ear to the brain. This nerve is near to where cell phones are held against the head.
Anthony Swerdlow of the British Institute said that results showed “no substantial risk in the first decade after starting use.” However, scientists said that risks over a longer time period cannot be ruled out.
While there is a possibility cell phones can cause other kinds of brain tumors, scientists believe acoustic neuroma would be the most likely. Currently, no study has demonstrated that cell phone use poses a significant health hazard.
Although mobile phone manufacturers claim there is no substantial evidence that cell phone radiation causes harm, other studies have suggested radiation may have some adverse effects on the human body. These include the heating up of the brain and causing headaches and nausea.
Ultimately, it may be years before any serious long-term negative health effects of cell phone use become manifest. If other cancers related to exposure to toxins such as cigarette smoke and asbestos are any indication, it may be decades before this health issue is definitively resolved one way or the other.
In the last decade cell phone use has increased dramatically worldwide. About 780 million mobile phones are expected to be sold in 2005 and almost 2 billion people now use cell phones around the world.