Danish phone study: No need to fear mobiltelephones

Here is a bit of interesting background on Dr Johansen

Christoffer Johansen is a medical doctor (1986) and the Head of Department of Psychosocial Cancer Research at the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology, the Danish Cancer Society. He received his Ph.D. in psychosocial oncology in 1992 focused on the topic: coping with colorectal cancer. Christoffer Johansen has published epidemiological studies within a number of research areas including psychosocial oncology, electromagnetic fields and pharmacoepidemiology in important journals such as The New England Journal of Medicine and Euroepan Journal of Cancer. Dr. Johansen is the President of the International PsychoOncology Society (IPOS) http://www.ipos-society.org which is creating significant links with the World Health Organization (WHO). An Advocacy Document has been written and it will be inserted in the guide-lines the WHO is preparing for the oncology area. He is also the organizing President of the next World Congress of Psycho-Oncology in Copenhagen in August 2004 http://www.ipos2004.dk .

The link below outlines his departments projects

With this plethora of psychosocial expertise one can't help wondering why this study is cited by Dr Micahel Clark from the Health Protection Agency as "This is a significant result showing no increase in cancer risk in Denmark".


Iris Atsmon elaborates some interesting details on funding of the Interphone Study in the following url


best wishes

panayis zambellis luton

From Mast Network


In a press interview Christoffer Johansen from the Danish Cancer association said that his newest report showed there was no connection between use of mobil telephones and brain cancer. He questioned a group of 427 Danes with braincancer and another 822 Danes without braincancer about their use of mobiltelephones. His report clearly showed that the use of mobile telephones does not increase the risk for braincancer. The study was part of the Interphone study conducted in 14 European countries and just published in Neurology. Surprised?

A recent Swedish study came to the same conclusion.

However he still recommends children, young people and adults to use headsets when using mobiltelephones.

Sianette Kwee


Dear Sianette,

This study does not respond to the Hardell/MIld work on acoustic neuromas but more to the REFLUX study which does indicate DNA damage. The findings may let these scientists off the hook, saying " to the best of their knowledge, there is no problem" but they keep everyone else hanging on, waiting for something more definitive, including those who make public policy and issue health advisories. The "it's too soon to tell" explanation: is an old one by now whereas, with the link to acoustic neuromas fairly well established, it is already pretty evident with two replication studies there is a causal relationship. So, they avoided stirring the pot by avoiding looking at that link to abnormal tumor growth. It is obvious that "we need to study a high number of long-term, heavy users of mobile phones." before drawing a conclusion about the end point of cancer in cell phone users, many years, in fact . But for the scientists to say that and then draw the conclusion that there must be no problem is plain unethical.

Then, they seem to evaluate whether there is any near term neurological damage by asking whether people recall how long they were on the call. How about assessing their driving performance, involvement in vehicular accidents, or acts of "road rage"? What about evaluating the number of times they are checking for messages or calling to say, "we are almost there?" Their methodology for looking at effect on memory seems flimsy.

Referring to the Finnish study, the link to analogue phones is again a useful finding, not to be dismissed as the phone are older, outdated and we still are waiting for news about the long term use of digital phones. These phones both use nonionizing radiation! Although the analogue phones had higher power output, the newer phones are held closest to the brain so the intensity may not bee al that different. The exposure patterns are different as well with longer term and more frequency of use.

We do need independent funding for continued research on potential cell phone user health effects. The Danish Cancer Center does not seem to qualify as being "independent" enough.

Libby Kelley

Mobiles do not cause tumours, scientists find. One of the most comprehensive studies into the dangers of mobile phones has found no link between how often they are used and the risk of developing brain tumours. London Independent , England. [related stories]


Very wise words, indeed, dear Libby! And, in addition, do not forget all the recent studies by us (as well as others):

Hallberg Ö, Johansson O, "Cancer trends during the 20th century", J Aust Coll Nutr & Env Med 2002; 21: 3-8

Hallberg Ö, Johansson O, "Does GSM 1800 MHz affect the public health in Sweden?", In: Proceedings of the 3rd International Workshop "Biological Effects of EMFs", Kos, Greece, October 4-8, 2004

Hallberg Ö, Johansson O, "1997 - A curious year in Sweden", Eur J Cancer Prev 2004; 13: 535-538

Hallberg Ö, Johansson O, "Long-term sickness and mobile phone use", J Aust Coll Nutr & Env Med, 2004; 23: 11-12

Hallberg Ö, Johansson O, "Mobile handset output power and health",
Electromag Biol Med 2004; 23: 229-239

Best regards

(Olle Johansson, assoc. prof.
The Experimental Dermatology Unit
Department of Neuroscience
Karolinska Institute
171 77 Stockholm


And I read that this study observed only a period of 10 years (20-40 years are necessary) and in addition only glioma and meningioma have been studied in this study. There are several studies that show an increased risk for acoustic neurinoma and for DNA damage (micronuclei, single and double strang breaks etc.). It seems that Mr. Johansen is the German Mr. Silny, such press releases are not serious.

Best regards

Joerg Wichmann (Client Services Manager)
April 13, 2005


Could cell phone radiation actually protect against brain cancer? Could it provide “vitamins for the brain”, as one irreverent epidemiologist suggested recently? Such a possibility, however improbable, is not as far fetched as it may sound.

This is not a new idea, but a new epidemiological study, published yesterday in Neurology brings it back to mind. A team led by Chrisoffer Johansen of the Danish Cancer Society in Copenhagen was looking at whether cell phones could promote brain tumors. They did not see an increased risk but did find that users had fewer aggressive tumors than non-users and that, in general, the tumors that did develop were smaller among users. These so-called “regular users” had only a little more than half as many high-grade gliomas as expected. And the tumors were, overall, 25% smaller.

The Danish study is the second brain tumor study to appear from the Interphone project, which is being coordinated by IARC, the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France. (In all, 13 countries are participating). Maria Feychting and coworkers at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm published their results last month in the American Journal of Epidemiology (AJE). They also saw fewer gliomas among cell phone users, though this difference was not statistically significant. While the Danes observed the greatest protection for the high-grade gliomas, the Swedes found it for the low-grade, or less aggressive, gliomas.

Since the Karolinska paper appeared on March 15, there has been much talk among epidemiologists about the fact that practically all the observed risks were smaller than expected. Amazingly, in one table (Table 2) presenting approximately 50 different categories of cell phone use, the Swedes found only a single risk above unity. (A relative risk of one signifies no effect; without a protective or deleterious effect, one would expect to see the risks randomly distributed above and below one.)

Sam Milham, the well-known epidemiologist, was the first to spot the skewed distribution of observed risks in the Swedish paper and has pointed this out in a letter which will appear in the AJE. If cell phones are not protective, then there was some kind of bias in the way the Swedes collected their data. This could mean that the whole study is faulty, calling into questions their conclusion that cell phones are not linked to brain cancer.

What’s so tantalizing about these two sets of findings is that there is some experimental evidence to support a protective effect. More than 15 years ago, Steve Cleary of Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond showed that microwaves could either stimulate or suppress the growth of human glioma cells exposed in a laboratory setting. The direction of the effect depended on the intensity of the radiation (see MWN, M/A90)

To be sure, Cleary used some relatively high power levels in his experiments, but Jerry Phillips, in some experiments sponsored by Motorola, later showed a similar delicate balance between beneficial and deleterious effects in experiments on RF-induced DNA breaks. Phillips exposed human cancer cells at intensities that are common for users of cell phones (see MWN, J/F98).

A number of animal studies have also pointed to a protective effect The most notable of these was the experiment run by the late Ross Adey for Motorola (see MWN, M/A96 and J/A96). In essentially all these cases, the protective effect has been due to digital or pulsed microwave signals. (For an overview of these studies, see MWN, S/O02.).

The Danes and the Swedes who participated in the newly published epidemiological studies mostly used analog phones —at least in the early years. So one should be careful before jumping to any conclusions, but the results are provocative and should, we would hope, stimulate some interesting experiments. That is of course, if there is any money for follow-up work, always a dicey proposition.

The Danish group dismisses the possibility of a protective effect because of a lack of a “biologic plausibility.” But we would counter that many say that there is no biological plausibility for a detrimental effect.

Until we better understand what’s really going on, we are in unchartered waters and all possibilities should be considered. These two epidemiological studies and the others due from the Interphone project are only a preliminary picture of the long-term impact of cell phone use. So far at least, they have included only a small number of subjects who have used phones for ten or more years, with substantial air time over that period.

[It is worth noting that the definition of a “regular user” of a cell phone in all the Interphone studies is the use of a mobile phone on average once per week during at least six months.” Today, mobile phone companies routinely sell plans that allow thousands of minutes per month.]

The issues discussed here go far beyond hazard research. They raise fascinating questions about basic science that need to be answered. We shall see if anyone out there is interested in science or if this is really all about telling people that it’s okay to keep using their mobile phones.


Louis Slesin, PhD
Microwave News, A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation
155 East 77th Street
New York, NY 10021, USA
Phone: +1 (212) 517-2800; Fax: +1 (212) 734-0316
E-mail: mwn@pobox.com


Mobile Phone Use and Acoustic Neuromas

Informant: Iris Atzmon


Mobile Phone Use and the Risk of Acoustic Neuroma

Could Cell Phone Radiation Be a Vitamin for Your Brain?

Trust Us, We're Experts: How Industry Manipulates Science



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