Are mobile phones safe?


Is this programme supposed to be serious or a joke? If serious then either budget cuts must have allowed for little time to do any proper research or this is just more spin put out by the BBC in the wake of the reports mainly in the print media on the latest research showing a 5 times increased risk of brain tumours for mobile phone users who started under 20 years old, ie children.

To quote from a meta analysis of ALL the brain tumour research to that point (2007)


We conclude that results from present studies on use of mobile phones for =10 years give a consistent pattern of an increased risk for acoustic neuroma and glioma. The risk is highest for ipsilateral exposure.

The Danish study had many methodological errors as detailed below.

It is always interesting to see which sections of the media choose to report the findings of which studies. It is easy to see which side they are on! People are left to have to do the research for themselves.

'The Danish cohort study on mobile phone subscribers was updated with follow-up through 2002 for cancer incidence. As previously, 200 000 (32%) company subscribers were excluded and apparently instead included in the population-based comparison group. The expected numbers were based on the general population. However, a large part of the population does use mobile phones and/or cordless phones, the latter use not assessed at all in the study. There was no truly unexposed group for comparison. Of the subscribers, 85% were men and 15% were women, thus giving a very skewed sex distribution.

There seemed to be a "healthy worker" effect in the study, as SIR was significantly decreased to 0.95 (95% CI 0.9 to 0.97) for all cancers. In the group with >=10 years since first subscription, significantly decreased SIR of 0.7 (0.4 to 0.95) was found for brain and nervous system tumours indicating methodological problems in the study. Temporal glioma yielded SIR = 1.2 (0.9 to 1.6). This finding was based on 54 people. No latency data were given or laterality of phone use in relation to tumour localisation in the brain.'

Research: //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17148772

Powerwatch Criticism:

- Graham

From Mast Sanity/Mast Network



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Oktober 2008

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