Frequent long-term use of cell phones may increase cancer risk

Public health concerns have been raised today about the safety of being exposed to radiofrequency (RF) radiation emitted from cell phones.  A report released by the Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion (OAHPP) in September 2010 was one of the studies cited as providing evidence that frequent long-term use of cell phones may be associated with an increased risk of cancer.

The report by Dr. Ray Copes, Director of Environmental and Occupational Health and an associate professor at the University of Toronto (U of T), and Dr. Lawrence Low, a resident physician training at U of T states:

"In a meta-analysis of several studies of cell phone use and its association with tumours carried out by Hardell et al there was no demonstrable increase in risk for most tumours considered.  However, there was an indication of an increased risk for glioma, acoustic neuroma, and meningioma with ipsilateral cell phone use of greater than 10 years."

"While far from conclusive, there is emerging evidence that long-term frequent use of cell phones may be associated with an increased risk of tumours on the side of the head where the cell phone is used. This is an active area of research and additional studies may confirm or refute this association."

"The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has not even rated the RF energy emitted by cell phones as 'possibly carcinogenic' and the OAHPP report does not make any reference to cell phone use causing tumours," said Copes.  

Dr. Vivek Goel, president and CEO of OAHPP, said, "The development of scientific knowledge does not proceed in a neat linear manner. Some initial findings are confirmed by subsequent work, others while initially promising turn out to be scientific dead ends."

"The bottom line is there is no evidence to provide a basis for recommending changes to policy regarding cell phones," said Goel.

The full report is available on the OAHPP website at




The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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