A study suggests that heavy mobile phone use is linked to glioma, a deadly type of brain cancer. Researchers found that the rate of glioma development is related to the the number of hours of use.
The study, which was published in the journal Pathophysiology, was led by researcher Dr. Lennart Hardell, an oncologist from University Hospital in Orebro, Sweden. He and his colleagues compared the hours of mobile phone use between a group of 1,380 patients with malignant brain tumors and a matched group without tumors.
The risk of developing a glioma was twice as likely among people in the study who recalled talking on their cell phones the most, over 1,486 hours compared to those who said they used mobile phones between one and 122 hours. Dr. Hardell told Reuters Health in a phone interview “The risk is three times higher after 25 years of use. We can see this clearly,”
The overall risk of glioma is still low, with slightly more than five out of 100,000 Europeans being diagnosed between 1995 and 2002. The study did not find a link between cell phone use and other types of brain tumors.
Hardell’s findings are at odds with the the international Interphone study, which is the largest ever study looking at the risk of brain cancer and cell phone use. The study, which was conducted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and published in 2010, did not find a strong link between mobile phone use and an increased risk of brain tumors. The study was partially funded by cell phone companies, Fox News reports.
In 2011, cell phones were classified as “possibly carcinogenic” by a World Health Organization panel consisting of 31 scientists from 14 countries. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission adopted safe radiation exposure limits in 1996 and is currently reviewing those limits. According to the National Cancer Institute’s website, radiofrequency energy emitted from cell phones can be absorbed by tissues nearby.