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Headline Of The Week Weak

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"Mobile phone use 'raises children's risk of brain cancer fivefold'"

Scary stuff! CLICK HERE to read the article accompanying this headline.

[Image via WENN.]

Mobile phone use 'raises children's risk of brain cancer fivefold'

Alarming new research from Sweden on the effects of radiation raises fears that today's youngsters face an epidemic of the disease in later life

Children and teenagers are five times more likely to get brain cancer if they use mobile phones, startling new research indicates.

The study, experts say, raises fears that today's young people may suffer an "epidemic" of the disease in later life. At least nine out of 10 British 16-year-olds have their own handset, as do more than 40 per cent of primary schoolchildren.

Yet investigating dangers to the young has been omitted from a massive £3.1m British investigation of the risks of cancer from using mobile phones, launched this year, even though the official Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research (MTHR) Programme – which is conducting it – admits that the issue is of the "highest priority".

Despite recommendations of an official report that the use of mobiles by children should be "minimised", the Government has done almost nothing to discourage it.

Last week the European Parliament voted by 522 to 16 to urge ministers across Europe to bring in stricter limits for exposure to radiation from mobile and cordless phones, Wi-fi and other devices, partly because children are especially vulnerable to them. They are more at risk because their brains and nervous systems are still developing and because – since their heads are smaller and their skulls are thinner – the radiation penetrates deeper into their brains.

The Swedish research was reported this month at the first international conference on mobile phones and health.

It sprung from a further analysis of data from one of the biggest studies carried out into the risk that the radiation causes cancer, headed by Professor Lennart Hardell of the University Hospital in Orebro, Sweden. Professor Hardell told the conference – held at the Royal Society by the Radiation Research Trust – that "people who started mobile phone use before the age of 20" had more than five-fold increase in glioma", a cancer of the glial cells that support the central nervous system. The extra risk to young people of contracting the disease from using the cordless phone found in many homes was almost as great, at more than four times higher.

Those who started using mobiles young, he added, were also five times more likely to get acoustic neuromas, benign but often disabling tumours of the auditory nerve, which usually cause deafness.

By contrast, people who were in their twenties before using handsets were only 50 per cent more likely to contract gliomas and just twice as likely to get acoustic neuromas.

Professor Hardell told the IoS: "This is a warning sign. It is very worrying. We should be taking precautions." He believes that children under 12 should not use mobiles except in emergencies and that teenagers should use hands-free devices or headsets and concentrate on texting. At 20 the danger diminishes because then the brain is fully developed. Indeed, he admits, the hazard to children and teenagers may be greater even than his results suggest, because the results of his study do not show the effects of their using the phones for many years. Most cancers take decades to develop, longer than mobile phones have been on the market.

The research has shown that adults who have used the handsets for more than 10 years are much more likely to get gliomas and acoustic neuromas, but he said that there was not enough data to show how such relatively long-term use would increase the risk for those who had started young.

He wants more research to be done, but the risks to children will not be studied in the MTHR study, which will follow 90,000 people in Britain. Professor David Coggon, the chairman of the programmes management committee, said they had not been included because other research was being done on young people by a study at Sweden's Kariolinska Institute.

He said: "It looks frightening to see a five-fold increase in cancer among people who started use in childhood," but he said he "would be extremely surprised" if the risk was shown to be so high once all the evidence was in.

But David Carpenter, dean of the School of Public Health at the State University of NewYork – who also attended the conference – said: "Children are spending significant time on mobile phones. We may be facing a public health crisis in an epidemic of brain cancers as a result of mobile phone use."

In 2000 and 2005, two official inquiries under Sir William Stewart, a former government chief scientist, recommended the use of mobile phones by children should be "discouraged" and "minimised".

But almost nothing has been done, and their use by the young has more than doubled since the turn of the millennium.

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26 comments to “Headline Of The Week Weak”

  1. 1

    meh I hate talking on the phone anyway

  2. 2


    Damn it!

  3. LBaby says – reply to this



  4. 4

    Well then…I'm glad I'm not a Child.

  5. 5

    im 16 and i dont have a cellphone…
    guess its a good thing i dont.

  6. 6

    good thing i just text? ;)

  7. 7

    Cell phones suck most of the time anyway.

  8. 8

    thats scary. im getting a bluetooth headset lol.

  9. 9

    I'm one of the last teenagers to NOT own a phone, so this article makes me feel kind of validated.

  10. 10

    Good thing I don't have a cellphone.

  11. 11

    Just as somebody with an epidemiology background, it should be noted that of the large group of people who study cell phone use this guy is the only one who finds consistently positive results. In fact, he's the only researcher who finds positive results. Not all studies are equal so I would look at the actual study rather than the synopsis.

  12. 12

    this is VERY old news
    i new this more than 2 years agooo

  13. 13

    Um, this is not especially convincing. I'd like to see what some real scientists have to say about this, since I am skeptical about the results of this experiment. I have not seen any definitive proof that points to cell phones having any adverse effects on the health of anyone, besides those who are stupid enough to drive with them, but besides that, there is little pointing to this study showing anything. I'd like to the science behind this one.

  14. 14

    i text more anywaaayy.

  15. KayJ says – reply to this


    doesn't make sense

  16. 16

    well, fuck. i sure hope not.

  17. 17

    I need WAY more specifics in this article than what I'm being given here. I could see how cell phones give you cancer but I hope they don't. This whole article is written like a scare tactic piece though. Full of multiplier and escalator words.

    Never once does the author mention specific numbers on how many people are getting actual cancer. There could be so many different variations for these results like.

    Maybe certain people with certain lifestyle habits are more likely to get cancer, maybe it's European customers who tend to get it maybe its European cell phones, maybe it's a certain company causing it, etc.
    Plus, if you run enough research studies…sooner or later the null hypothesis will come up and I don't know anything about this Professor and his research but, maybe he sucks at research or something. I need a lot more research before I'm saying I'm convinced of this.

  18. 18

    Re: The Kath

    Do you want more convincing? A few months ago a website posted an article about mobile phones giving you cancer. In came a flood of comment from readers, many of them being: 'I have been using a cell phone for x number of years and recntly everytime I talk and then hang up I get a headache on that side of the head". A few people mentioned that they can't use their phone anymore bcos they get very bad headaches after hanging up. A few people mentioned that they got a tumor where they always carry their phone (at the hip, etc) and tumors on the side of their head where they always hold their headset. Sure you can put it down to coincidence, just like people who live near chemical wastelands who "coincidentally" get cancer. However, this is too much to ignore and with all of the studies coming out anyone who choses to ignore this only has themselves to blame. The filthy rich mobile phone companies aren't going to care what happens to you in ten years time…that's your job.

  19. 19

    I only use my home cordless phone on speaker and rarely talk on the cell phone, and when i do it's when a headset.

  20. MP says – reply to this


    I've read so many studies that provide no conclusive link to cell phones and brain cancer. I really think they're wrong and I think as time goes on and people have been using cell phones for several decades we're going to see an increase in brain cancers.

  21. 21

    I have a 10 yr old, and personally I don't see why you would get a child a cell phone any ways!? Her 11 yr old step sisiter just got a blackberry! A fucking Blackberry! Like is she gonna need it to remember her business meetings? talk about spoiling kids

  22. 22

    This is OLD news. Also: everything gives you cancer.

  23. 23

    Re: MP

    I bet that these studies that supposedly show no links between mp and cancer have been conducted and/or financed by mobile phone companies themselves….just like how years ago tabacco companies have financed studies that showed no links between smoking and cancer. Sad :( .

  24. 24

    Is it just me or does she look kind of inbred here?

  25. 25

    Who's to say that holding any electronic device up to your head for 20 hours a day wouldn't give you cancer. Get off the phone and get a life.

  26. 26

    This is terrible news for me. I have always wanted brain cancer and I have never used a cell phone.

    In all seriousness, I had a Biology professor tell my class that cell phones can cause cancer five years ago. Anyone who is surprised by this isn’t too bright.