The Bogeyman Cometh Again… April 7, 2006Posted by scan man in Medicine, News.
I read this in 'The Hindu' a few days ago…
Study suggests mobile phone brain tumour link
The results of a study, conducted at the Swedish National Institute for Working Life, raise renewed fears that a prolonged use of mobile phones may increase the risk of brain tumours.
Researchers examined the patterns of cell phone use by over 2,000 cancer patients and an equal number of healthy persons. Of the 905 patients who suffered from a malignant brain tumour, one in 10 was a heavy mobile phone user. For the purposes of the study, `heavy use' meant more than 2,000 hours of use — about 10 years of an average use of over one hour a day. Mobile phone users have 3.7 times the risk of developing brain cancer as non-users. What is more, there is twice the chance of the tumour occurring on the side of the head where the phone is held.
The results were published in the online edition of the "International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health" on March 16. Kjell Hansson Mild, who led the study, recommends: "Everyone should use hands-free mobile phones…. This will lower what is called the SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) value, the amount of radiation absorbed by the brain, by a factor of hundred… and also improve hearing."
The Swedish findings fly in the face of the studies conducted recently in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, which came to the opposite conclusion.
A study, conducted by four British Universities and published in the January 20, 2006 issue of the British Medical Journal, concluded that there was nocause-and-effect relation between the cell phone use and brain tumours. The Dutch Health Council also came to a similar conclusion last year, collating reports worldwide.
Studies conducted at the School of Environmental Studies of Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, however, have tended to agree that intensive cell phone use, especially as practised by young people, may lead to cancer.
While scientists may argue about the sanctity of one set of results versus another, lay users may decide to be "better safe, than sorry." Here too, scientists do not agree: The (U.K.) Consumer Association has said the wire connecting the mobile phone to the hands-free earpiece could act as an aerial and send an occasional strong current into the ear.
This would suggest that the safest solution might be one of those wireless hands-free models working on Bluetooth technology, in which there is no connecting cable at all. This is the type used in many cars. But such safety comes at a price: a wireless hands-free kit costs Rs. 2,500 in India.
and this today
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Thursday it will review wireless phone safety following a recently published study that raised concerns about a heightened risk of brain cancer.
Swedish researchers said last month the use of cellular phones over a long period of time can raise the risk of brain tumors. Their findings contradict a number of earlier studies and are "difficult to interpret," the FDA said in comments posted on its Web site.
Still, the agency said it "plans to convene a meeting in the near future to evaluate research conducted to date in this area and identify gaps in knowledge that warrant additional research."
It also will continue to monitor studies for possible health problems stemming from exposure to radio frequency energy.
Will they make up their minds. In a few more years I'll be classified as a 'heavy user'.
While scientists may argue about the sanctity of one set of results versus another, lay users may decide to be "better safe, than sorry."
I don't think thats likely to happen here in India. With the public and private sector Mobile phone services coming out with cheaper rates and handsets every other month, mobile phone usage is only likely to increase.
I foresee an epidemic of 'mobile-phone-gliomas'.
Seems like good times for Neurosurgeons, Oncologists and of course, Radiologists.
Provided that they lay off mobile phones..or use Bluetooth Hands-free kits, which they certainly can afford.