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Hour A Day Raises Cellphone Cancer Risk
The Mercury
March 18, 2003

Cellphones are at the centre of new safety fears in Britain since scientists have found the first evidence of a link with brain cancer. Users who spend more than an hour a day talking on a cellphone are almost a third more at risk of developing a rare form of brain tumour, a study has found.

The cancers were found most frequently on the side of the head to which the phone was held.

Scientists found the cancer link with digital phones, old-style analogue mobiles and digital-enhanced cordless phones.

The findings, published in the International Journal Of Oncology, will renew health concerns among Britain's 47 million cellphone users.

One expert said on Monday that another large-scale study would be needed to confirm the apparent link. Radiation from cellphones has been shown to alter the workings of brain cells and affect memory.

But the biggest British study three years ago, led by the government's former chief scientific adviser, William Stewart, found that there was no evidence of a risk to human health.

A report by the American National Cancer Institute in 2001 also failed to find a link between mobile phone use and brain cancer.

The latest findings are the first to show a link between the instruments and disease in humans.

In the study, lead researcher Kjell Mild examined the medical records of 1 600 tumour victims who had been using cellphones for up to 10 years before diagnosis. Mild, a biophysicist at Orebro University in Sweden, said the evidence was clear: "The more you use phones and the greater number of years you have them, the greater the risk of brain tumours."

The study found that spending more than an hour a day on the phone increased the risk of a type of tumour known as acoustic neuroma by 30 percent.

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