A report supported by U.S. and British researchers suggests that people who use a cell phone have a “significant” risk of developing brain tumors.
In a paper sent to government officials, lead researcher, Lloyd Morgan, said cell phone use leads to “an increased risk of brain tumors, eye cancer, salivary gland tumors, testicular cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and leukemia.”
Previous experiments have shown radiation from handsets can affect brain cells in a lab, but more relevant studies on humans have found no evidence that suggest mobile devices pose a health risk.
The wireless industry has always maintained there is no link between mobile phones and cancer.
In 2005, a Danish study looked at the cell phone usage of brain tumor patients and concluded that the two were unlikely linked. But added that “we won’t be able to make any firm conclusions until we can confirm these results with studies with more long-term and heavy cell phone users.”
Studies last year in France and Norway concluded the same thing.
But Morgan, a retired electronics engineer and member of the Bioelectromagnetics Society, said that many of the studies were telecom-funded and had a “systemic-skew” that greatly underestimated the chance of tumors.
He said that reports had unrealistic definitions of what made a “regular” cell phone user and excluded people who “had died or were too ill to be interviewed as a consequence of their brain tumor and children and young adults who are more vulnerable.”
Morgan also pointed out that research flaws included the false assumption that electromagnetic radiation, or EMF, has no biological effects except for heating.
The possible effects of EMF is a concern among some scientists.
“Some countries are already banning cell phones over health concerns, with France saying children in elementary schools can only use them for texting,” Morgan said. “Cell phones can be used appropriately and have a certain usefulness, but I fear we will see a tsunami of brain tumors, although it is too early to see that now, since the tumors have a 30-year latency.”
Morgan’s paper, “Cellphones and Brain Tumors: 15 Reasons for Concern,” was written with the endorsement of 43 scientists and experts from the U.S., Australia, Brazil, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Russia, Spain, Sweden and the U.K.
Groups supporting the findings include the EMR Policy Institute, the Peoples Initiative Foundation, ElectromagneticHealth.org, The Radiation Research Trust and Powerwatch.