Mobile phones and brain cancer: 30 year old study reveals NO link

Do mobile phones cause brain cancer? This debate has been going on for years and yet no definite conclusion had been drawn. As of 2016, there have been more than 7 billion mobile usage subscriptions worldwide and the health hazards associated with cell phones is a question which the WHO considers of utmost importance. In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified RF electromagnetic fields as GROUP-B (possibly carcinogenic).


Source: Wikimedia

A research carried out by Professor Simon Chapman, University of Sydney states that, non-ionizing electromagnetic radiations emitted from mobile phones are not currently thought to damage cells, reinforcing the fact that, these devices are not linked to cancer. It was published in the journal Cancer Epidemology. The study examined the link between age and incidence rates of 19,858 men and 14,222 women diagnosed with brain cancer in Australia between 1982-2012, and national mobile phone usage data from 1987-2012. From 9% in 1993 the number of 20 years people using cell phones increased to 90% today. However, the age-adjusted incidence rates of brain cancer though stable in females for over 30 years, increased in males(70 years or more) from 1982. That was before the advent of mobile phones hence, could not be likely explained.

Another model based on the hypothesis that ‘mobile phones cause brain cancer’ recorded an estimate of 1,435 while, the expected number was 1,866. Further work was based on data from the INTERPHONE study (an international pooled analysis of studies on the association between mobile phone use and the brain) and a paper which reports on CNS cancers in people exposed to atom bomb radiation in Japan in 1945, where the concept of latency period was also measured. It was seen that these people had been affected with ionizing radiation that can damage DNA by removing electrons off the atoms, however, mobile phones carry only non-ionizing electrons.


Source: Wikimedia

Thus, it was concluded that the low energy non-ionizing radiations emitted from the mobile phones excite the electrons to make them heat up but, do not cause any damage to the DNA. Out of the 90% people some of whom have been using mobile phones for more than 20 years, no rise in incidence of brain cancer was recorded. However, as mobile phone alarmist Devra Davis said, a sudden change can be expected 30-40 years later based on the concept of latency or lag period.

The original article can be accessed here.

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