study finds cell phones not linked to brain tumors
April 26, 2005
There is some good news for cell phone users: A new study published in
the April issue of the journal Neurology shows no connection between cell
phone use and the risk of developing a brain tumor.
In a recent Danish survey of 427 people with brain tumors and 822 with
no tumors found no difference in their frequency of cell phone use or
the number of years they had used a cell phone. In addition, in the patients
who had brain tumors, there was no correlation between the location of
the lesion and the side of the head they usually used for talking on the
One strength of this study is that researchers checked phone company records
to confirm the reports of their subjects. This eliminates the problem
of "recall bias" in which people, especially those with serious
diseases of unknown cause, attribute their disorder to some previous activity
and then unknowingly exaggerate the extent of their participation in it.
Although the radio frequency fields emitted by cell phones do not have
enough energy to cause cancer by breaking chemical bonds or causing DNA
damage, some people have suggested that the telephones may cause damage
by a thermal process that promotes tumor growth. This study shows no such
effect, confirming the results of earlier epidemiological surveys.
Dr. John Boice, scientific director of the International Epidemiology
Institute in Rockville, Maryland, and a co-author of the study, said,
"The most dangerous thing you can do with a cell phone is to use
one while you're driving a car.