Brain cancer: Popular theory finally debunked after 20 years

A new study has debunked a popular 20 year theory by showing that using a mobile phone does not increase risk of brain cancer.

Results from a large-scale landmark UK study of 770,000 women have found that using a mobile phone does not pose a risk of tumour for the average user.

There was also no evidence that those who used their mobile phones pressed against their heads for 7 to 10 hours per week or more are at risk.

Mobile phone use does not increase brain cancer risk

Kirstin Pirie from Oxford University’s Population Health department, who worked on the study, said:

These results support the accumulating evidence that mobile phone use under usual conditions does not increase brain tumour risk.

It was back in the 90s, when mobile phones became a staple of modern life, that concerns were first raised about the effect of mobile phone usage on the brain. Since then, there have been fears our mobile phones may emit radiation that causes cancer.

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Brain cancer: Popular theory finally debunked after 20 years Magnet.me / Unsplash

In 2011, the World Health Organisation classified mobile phone radiation as a 'possible' human carcinogen and the governments of the United Kingdom, France, and Israel issued warnings about children using mobile phones.

The debate has been recently reignited with the launch of 5G and conspiracy theories surrounding it.

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The situation is 'under control'

The research was carried out by scientists from Oxford Population Health and International Agency for Research on Cancer. They used data from the Million Women Study: an ongoing research project that recruited one in four UK women born between 1935 and 1950.

The 770,000 participants completed questionnaires about their use of mobile phones in 2001, and around half of them were questioned again in 2011. The participants were then followed up for an average of 14 years through their NHS records.

After the 14-year follow-up period, the authors concluded that there was no significant difference in the risk of developing a brain tumour when comparing those who used mobile phones with those who did not.

Lead researcher Joachim Schüz, from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, told inews:

For ordinary use, I think we have strong convincing evidence that mobile phone use doesn’t cause problems — while for the smaller group of people with very heavy use, we would give some precautionary advice. But overall we have the situation pretty much under control.
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