Mobile phones probably won't give you cancer

Study concludes they might be safe after all

Mobile phones probably won t give you cancer

Move your mobile phone back to your jeans pocket fellas, a report by the Health Protection Agency says there is no evidence to suggest that phone radiation damages health.

Although the risks have been almost universally ignored by the billions of mobile phone users around the world, every so often a study pops up to announce that we're all slowly developing cancer as a result of phone radiation.

The HPA's study of all published research on the subject is the largest to date, and found that there is "no indication" of risk from phone radiation.

Despite this, there still isn't a definitive conclusion to the question of whether the radiation can be harmful and the independent advisory group counselling the HPA on the research notes that it is still crucial to watch for brain tumour and cancer trends in relation to phone use.

Limitations

"There are still limitations to the published research that preclude a definitive judgement," said Professor Anthony Swerdlow, chairman of the catchily-named advisory group on non-ionising radiation (AGNIR).

"But the evidence overall has not demonstrated any adverse effects on human health from exposure to radiofrequency fields below internationally accepted guideline levels."

One problem with research into the potential adverse health effects of phones is that they haven't been around for that long – "Beyond 15 years for mobile phones, we have to say we have little or no information," Swerdlow added.

"Remember this is an exposure that 20 years ago nobody had and now practically everybody has so you might expect that if there were appreciable effects that you would see them in the tumour rates.

"But if this is something that takes 15, 20 years or more to show up… we need to keep watching the rates just in case."

Despite the findings, the HPA still recommends that children should refrain from "excessive use" of mobile phones, just to be on the safe side.

From The Guardian