The experiment concluded that mobile phone users were at no greater risk than anyone else of developing brain cancer. The research was carried out by the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology in Denmark, which studied over 358,403 people who use mobile phones over an 18 year period. It found that even those people who had mobile phones over 13 years or more had no higher risk of contracting brain cancer than anyone else. However, they also concluded that mobile phone use warranted continue research to ensure that cancers were not developing over the longer term, as well as continuing to study the effect on children. As was pointed out by Professor David Spiegelhalter of Cambridge University, the comparison is effectively only between early mobile phone users and later mobile phone users, and although an 18 year period seems like a long period of time, this is only looking back to around 1995. One other concern about the research was that it did not include “corporate subscriptions”, ie. people who use their phones for business purposes, which are probably some of the heaviest users of mobile phones.
For the past 20 years there has been a huge amount of debate and fear over the effects of mobile phones on human health, and this report is the latest contribution to that debate. The World Health Organisation still feels that mobile phones could be carcinogenic, and puts them in the same category as coffee, a category whereby a link cannot be categorically ruled out but also cannot be categorically proven. Hazel Nunn, Head of Evidence and Health Information at Cancer Research UK said “These results are the strongest evidence yet that using a mobile phone does not seem to increase the risk of cancers of the brain or central nervous system in adults”. The UK Department of Health’s official advice is still that anyone under the age of 16 should only use mobile phones for essential reasons and aim to keep phone calls as short as possible while their brain is still developing.
Commenting on the report, David Clarke, Director of DBS Telecoms – a leading supplier of 0800 numbers, 0845 numbers, virtual London phone numbers and international toll free numbers said: “I remember going back about 10 or 15 years many people were frightened about getting a mobile phone due to health reasons. Now there are more mobile phones in the UK than there are people, with figures showing high percentages of children using them. Health concerns seem to have been forgotten about or ignored over time, but they are still there lurking in the background. Whilst the headlines from this report seem pretty conclusive, there still seems to be quite a bit of ambiguity when you look beneath the surface, and whilst the results are encouraging, there is still uncertainty of the effects over long periods of time.”