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Top researchers advise precaution on mobile phone use

Viernes 28 de enero de 2011 · 947 lecturas

Top researchers advise precaution on mobile phone use

In a dramatic message in the Journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine, two leading Interphone researchers now advise the following: Simple and low-cost measures, such as the use of text messages, hands-free kits and/or the loudspeaker mode of the phone could substantially reduce exposure to the brain from mobile phones. Therefore, until definitive scientific answers are available, the adoption of such precautions, particularly among young people, is advisable.

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Occup Environ Med doi:10.1136/oem.2010.061358
Indications of possible brain-tumour risk in mobile-phone studies: should we be concerned?

Elisabeth Cardis1, Siegal Sadetzki2
+ Author Affiliations

1Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), Municipal Institute of Medical Research (IMIM), CIBERESP, Barcelona, Spain
2Cancer & Radiation Epidemiology Unit, Gertner Institute, Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Hashomer 52621, Israel and Sackler School of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Israel
Correspondence to
Professor Elisabeth Cardis, CREAL, Doctor Aiguader 88, 08003 Barcelona, Spain; ecardis@creal.cat
Accepted 27 September 2010
Published Online First 24 January 2011
Mobile phones brain tumours radiofrequency fields epidemiology cancer electromagnetic fields radiation
Mobile-phone use has increased dramatically in most countries since its introduction in the early to-mid 1980s. The expanding use of this technology has been accompanied by concerns about health and safety. In the late 1990s, several expert groups critically reviewed the evidence on health effects of low-level exposure to radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields, and recommended research into the possible adverse health effects of mobile telephone use. 1-4 As a result, a number of studies have been conducted, 5-14 including a large 13-country collaborative study, Interphone, with over 2700 glioma and 2400 meningioma cases and their matched controls, which was recently published. 15

Studies on the health effects of mobile phones are very complex, and interpretation of the results necessitates understanding and careful consideration of various aspects including the timing of the study, the exposure variables of relevance and the influence of methodological limitations. Indeed, the results of studies to date, in particular those of the recently published Interphone international analyses, 15 have been interpreted differently by various groups: some have taken them to suggest that mobile phones are safe, others that they cause tumours, while some have suggested that the limitations of the studies were such that no conclusion could be drawn.

This editorial discusses the main issues in the interpretation of the findings reported in recently published studies of brain tumours in relation to mobile-phone use, particularly the largest of these, Interphone, and their potential public-health implications.

Timing of the study
Most published studies to date have found no increased risk (and in many instances even a decreased risk) associated with ever having used a mobile telephone. These studies, however, were conducted at a time when mobile communication was still a relatively new phenomenon with low levels of use compared with today. As an illustration, though the largest study, Interphone, started in 2000, ...

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