Cell Phone Use Not Linked to Cancer, Says New Study

A major study of 358,403 mobile phone users in Denmark has found no link between long-term cell phone use and tumors.  Previous studies about mobile phone use and tumors have so far been inconclusive, especially as far as long-term use of phones. The new Danish study, just published in the the British Medical Journal, disputes what a World Health Organization panel since just five months ago, that cellphones are “possibly carcinogenic.” But another study carried out in 13 countries found no overall increased risk linking cell phone use to cancer, but did say that that those with the highest level of cellphone use had a 40 percent higher risk of glioma, an aggressive type of brain tumor.

In the new Danish study, researchers led by the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology in Copenhagen looked at data for the whole Danish population aged 30 and over and born in Denmark after 1925, dividing people into subscribers and non-subscribers of mobile phones before 1995.

Overall, 10,729 central nervous system tumours occurred in the study period 1990-2007.

When the figures were restricted to people with the longest mobile phone use — 13 years or more — cancer rates were almost the same in both long-term users and non-subscribers of mobile phones.

Researchers emphasized that a “small to moderate increase in risk for subgroups of heavy users or after even longer induction periods than 10-15 years” still needs to be considered and have called for more research of large study populations.

Tara Parker-Pope of the New York Times notes the strengths of this study as well as a weakness:

The Danish study is important because it matches data from a national cancer registry with mobile phone contracts beginning in 1982, the year the phones were introduced in Denmark, until 1995. Because it used a computerized cohort that was tracked through registries and digitized subscriber data, it avoided the need to contact individuals and thus eliminated problems related to selection and recall bias common in other studies.

However, the major weakness of the study is that it counted cellphone subscriptions rather than actual use by individuals, and failed to count people who had corporate subscriptions or who used cellphones without a long-term contract. Those small details could have diluted any association between cellphone use and cancer risk, the investigators conceded.

With more than five billion mobile phone subscribers worldwide in 2010, concerns about health effects, and especially about tumors in the central nervous system, have risen accordingly.  Scientists describe the results of the new study as “reassuring.” Even if consumers do not find them to be such, are we any more likely to start using our cell phones less?


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Photo by Orin Zebest


Helen K.
Helen K6 years ago

Sorry but I just don't believe this study. Pressing a radiative device to within 1/2 an inch of your brain just doesn't seem sensible. Yes, I've got one but I drive very old cars and I only use it to call AAA when they dump me on the freeway! Oh, I lie, I also take it into my chicken house if I have to go in after dark because my home built latch once stuck and locked me in!

Leo J.
Leo Jux6 years ago


Gwendolyn K.
Gwendolyn Krupa6 years ago

Who paid for this study?!!

Jane Barton
Jane Barton6 years ago

BIG BIZ is deliberately putting out false information and false studies so we can't SUE them when we GET BRAIN CANCER. This is all about MONEY.

Mark Leung
Emma G6 years ago

People should stop posting results from inconclusive studies and reports which serve to confuse and obfuscate general knowledge about such controversial issues

Jane R.
Jane R6 years ago

I'm not sure if I agree with this. It's not a true fact. Only time will tell.

Jennifer M.
Jennifer M6 years ago

Yeah, I call BS...

Patrick F.
Patrick f6 years ago

You know what causes cancer? REPUBLICANS, mark my words, if they get in office in 2012, the whole country will become a malignant tumor which will spread to all other countries. No amount of chemo can cure stupid.

Robert O.
Robert O6 years ago

That's what they say this week, then next week new findings will probably be released to say otherwise. Either way I'm not taking chances.