[AI] WHO study says mobile use 'can raise brain cancer risk'
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Tue May 18 09:46:49 EDT 2010
The Hindu : Health
WHO study says mobile use 'can raise brain cancer risk'
London, May 17, 2010
A WHO study says just half-an-hour daily on mobile can increase a person's risk of the disease by a third. File photo: Vipin Chandran.
The debate over whether cell phone radiation causes brain cancer continues, with a new study by the WHO now claiming that just half-an-hour daily on mobile can increase a person's risk of the disease by a third.
The Interphone report by the World Health Organisation has found those in the heaviest user category were in greater danger of developing malignant glioma tumours, which may lead to brain cancer, the 'Daily Express' reported.
But the report's definition of heavy use is just 30 minutes a day and regular use was at least one call per week over a six-month period.
The Interphone report, which has been largely funded by the mobile phone industry, was based on interviews in 13 countries over 10 years with 5,000 brain cancer victims or a friend or relative of those who had died or were too ill.
No victims under 30 were interviewed, with researchers admitting many young people use mobiles for an hour or more every day. They found that tumours were more common on the side of the head where the phone was used.
However, experts have warned that the real risk may be much higher as the study didn't look at other tumours including acoustic neuromas, which grow in the ears.
Sarah Wright, Spokesperson for campaign group Mast Sanity, said "They are only looking at two types of tumours. Other reports have come up with an average that doubled the risk and this Interphone study gives a 40 per cent increased risk. Evidence showed the number diagnosed was increasing by two per cent every year."
Dr. Grahame Blackwell, a spokesman for health charity WiredChild, said: "It's time for the government to stop saying, like the mobile industry, 'we need more research', to put warnings on mobile phone packaging and to issue cautions over children, similar to those in other countries.
"Parents just don't realise the dangers, which go beyond brain tumours, and the government needs to inform them because the manufacturers certainly won't."
Added Prof. Denis Henshaw, Head of the Human Radiation Effects Group at Bristol University: "Why should it come as a surprise that pressing mobile phones to people's ears increases the risk of brain tumours? These findings are completely as expected."
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