Studies Link Increased Brain Tumor Risk With Use Of Cell Phones

Studies Link Increased Brain Tumor Risk With Use Of Cell Phones
The Washington Times
May 24, 1999

LONDON (Agence France-Presse) – The use of cellular telephones may lead to cancerous brain tumors, according to two new studies featured in a British Broadcasting Corp. documentary to be broadcast today.

The first study, by Swedish cancer specialist Lennart Hardell, concluded the risk of brain tumors is multiplied 2.5 times when cell phones are used, and encouraged use of lower-wattage units.

“We need to use mobile phones which give low exposure to the brain. We need to be cautious about the use of phones in children or young adults,” the doctor said on the program “Panorama.”

The documentary also cited a second, as-yet unpublished, study done in the United States, that draws a link between the phones and greater risk of developing a rare form of brain tumor.

Based on these results, the head of a $25-million research body funded by the mobile phone industry suggested more studies be carried out. “We clearly have results here that suggest there could be something more here than meets the eyes,” said George Carlo. “That suggests there could be a problem that needs to be looked at very, very carefully.”

A third experiment was done at the University of Bristol in southwestern England on 36 adults who were exposed for 20 to 30 minutes to radiation similar to that produced by mobile phones.

The results showed the subjects’ capacity to make choices – a function of the visual cortex – was altered at the end of the sessions.

Alan Preece, who supervised the study, recommended that users “keep the exposure [to mobile phones] as low as possible.”

Commercially, cellular telephones have been perhaps the biggest success of the 1990s.

Western Europe is the largest market for mobile phones, with 32.5 percent of sales. The United States is second with 17.1 percent, and Japan third with 16.5 percent.