Last year, the Dutch Health Council, in an overview of
research from around the world, found no evidence that radiation from mobile
phones and TV towers was harmful. A four-year British survey in January also
showed no link between regular, long-term use of cell phones and the most
common type of tumor.
But researchers at the Swedish National Institute for
Working Life looked at mobile phone use of 2,200 cancer patients and an
equal number of healthy control cases.
Of the cancer patients, aged between 20 and 80, 905 had a
malignant brain tumor and about a tenth of them were also heavy users of
"Of these 905 cases, 85 were so-called high users of
mobile phones; that is, they began early to use mobile and/or wireless
telephones and used them a lot," said the authors of the study in a
statement issued by the Institute.
Published in the International Archives of Occupational
and Environmental Health, the study defines heavy use as 2,000 plus hours,
which "corresponds to 10 years' use in the work place for one hour per day."
Early use was defined as having begun to use a mobile
phone before the age of 20.
There was also shown to be a marked increase in the risk
of tumor on the side of the head where the telephone was generally used, the
study said, which took into account factors such as smoking habits, working
history and exposure to other agents.
Kjell Mild, who led the study, said the figures meant
that heavy users of mobile phones had a 240% increased risk of a malignant
tumor on the side of the head the phone is used.
"The way to get the risk down is to use handsfree," he
He said his study was the biggest yet to look at
long-term users of the wireless phone, which has been around in Sweden in a
portable form since 1984, longer than in many other countries