No Cell Phone-Cancer Risk, Large Study Says

In the latest study to address the issue of cellular phones and cancer, a Danish survey of more than 420,000 cell phone users who first subscribed to service in the early 1980s through the mid-1990s suggests that there is no link.

Researchers at the Danish Institute of Cancer Epidemiology followed 420,095 cell phone users who subscribed to service between 1982 and 1995, and were tracked through 2002 to spot any incidences of cancer. Compared with the general population, there was no appreciable difference.

Recently, studies have come out giving conflicting conclusions as to the risk of cancer among cell phone users. A study released in August of last year showed no risk of brain cancer. Another in January, said there was no risk of brain tumors, but a study released in March contradicted those findings.

The Food and Drug Administration is currently looking into these reports, citing concern with the methodology of the brain tumor study. And in Finland, government researchers are conducting studies on the risks of cellular radiation on human skin.

Even so, the Danish study is the largest to date to tackle the issue, and may for the first time offer some fairly concrete evidence that cell phones do not put users at risk for cancer. In fact the authors of the study contradict the findings of the March study.

"The methods used suggest that the use of cellular telephones does not pose a substantial risk of brain tumors among short-term or long-term users," the authors write.

Published in the December 6 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, the study found that 14,249 incidences of cancer occurred in study participants. However, the rates were no high than what was considered normal for tumors of the brain, throat, ear andand eye, or for incidences of leukemia.

What was found was a lower risk for smoking-related cancers, however this was likely more to do with socio-economic status than the cell phones themselves. Early adopters of cellular technology were of higher income, and smoke at a lesser rate than the general population.

"The narrow confidence intervals provide evidence that any large association of risk of cancer and cellular telephone use can be excluded," the researchers said, meaning its likely that there is no risk of cancer at all from cell phone use itself.

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