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Study Shows No Link Between Cell Phones and Rare Tumor

I’m Barbara Klein with the VOA Special English Health Report.

New research has found no link between the use of cellular telephones and tumors in the head. The study is one of the largest ever done on the possible links between brain cancer and cell phone radiation.

British researchers looked for a possible link between cell phone use and a rare tumor called acoustic neuroma. Acoustic neuromas develop on the nerve linking the brain and the inner ear.

Researchers also investigated links between cell phones and other kinds of cancers. But they say acoustic neuromas would be the most likely because they grow close to where people hold cell phones.

Scientists at the Institute of Cancer Research in London gathered information from studies done in Britain, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Cell phones have been widely used in those countries for more than ten years.

The researchers questioned more than four thousand people. Six hundred seventy-eight of them had developed acoustic neuromas. The researchers then compared their cell phone use over a ten-year period. The results were published in the British Journal of Cancer.

Anthony Swerdlow led the study. He said the results suggest there is no major risk of acoustic neuromas in the first ten years of using cell phones. But he said the technology is still too new to know about long-term effects. He also warned that young children who use cell phones could be at higher risk. The results of a recent Swedish study also found no link between cell phone use and brain tumors. In two thousand, a British study found no serious health effects from the use of cell phones. However, it warned that children should use them only in emergencies.

Some investigations have found a cancer risk. A study by the World Health Organization last year found that people who have used cell phones for at least ten years may be at greater risk for a rare brain tumor.

Other studies have suggested radiation from cellular phones can cause heating in the brain, headaches and stomach problems. Some scientists suggest that the increased number of cases of brain cancer is likely linked to the use of cell phones.

Almost two thousand million people use cell phones around the world.

This VOA Special English Health Report was written by Cynthia Kirk. Our reports are online at I’m Barbara Klein.