Largest Study to Date Finds No Cancer-Cell Phone Link The results should
have the world’s 5 billion cell phone users breathing a little easier.By Lauren
Hepler <> | Posted Friday,
Oct. 21, 2011, at 12:24 PM ET

   [image: 119003714]A woman displays an HTC 'ChaCha' mobile phone during a
press conference in Taipei on July 14, 2011. The model is expected to hit
the local market late July with a price tag of 342 USD. AFP PHOTO/PATRICK
LIN (Photo credit should read PATRICK LIN/AFP/Getty Images)

Photo by PATRICK LIN/AFP/Getty Images

Despite fears that cell phones may cause
a new, larger study <> says your
phone probably isn’t going to kill you after all.

Danish researchers studied more than 358,000 people in the largest study on
the topic to date, and found no difference in cancer rates between those who
have used cell phones for a decade and those who have not, the Associated
The study also ruled out an increased likelihood for cell phone users
getting brain tumors near areas where people typically hold a phone.

Still, the study’s authors and outside advocates are saying that doesn’t
mean we’re in the clear just yet. Currently, cell phones are on a list of
possible carcinogens kept by the International Agency for Research on
Cancer, and the new study adds to a field of mixed results from research on
the issue.

Most studies on cell phones and cancer, including ones by the Food and Drug
Administration and the Federal Communications Commission, found no
association between the two variables. But perhaps the most high profile,
panic-inducing move came this past May, when the World Health Organization
said scientists in 14 countries had decided that there was enough existing
evidence to warrant concern.

Researchers on the new study are also cautioning that because brain tumors
can take decades to develop, more long-term evidence needs to be examined
before a link can be ruled out for sure. The authors also noted lingering
concern about a "moderate increase" in risk for people who use cell phones
very frequently.

Third party groups are cautiously optimistic about the newest results,
saying that the world’s estimated 5 billion cell phone users shouldn’t
change their behavior when using cell phones. "There are a lot more worrying
things in the world than mobile phones," Hazel Nunn, head of Health Evidence
and Information at Cancer Research U.K., told the AP.

Nunn added that there is no biological evidence that cell phones are
inherently carcinogenic, as opposed to other substances linked to cancer
such as tobacco. Instead, concern over cell phones comes from radio waves
the phones use to operate, which can heat body tissue when absorbed at high
levels, though there is no evidence that this process damages cells.

Michael Balter
Contributing Correspondent, Science
Adjunct Professor of Journalism,
New York University

Email:  [log in to unmask]

“Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is
no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof."
                                                  --John Kenneth Galbraith