British Study Disproves Myth of Cellphones Causing Cancer

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By Reissa Su | February 12, 2014 7:02 PM EST

The popular belief that frequent cellphone use can cause cancer has been proven false. According to a British comprehensive study, cellphones do not increase the risk of leukemia or cancer. 

Reuters
A woman talks on her mobile phone as the rain begins to fall in New York November 26, 2013. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

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Society has a long-time fear of radiofrequency fields from mobile phones and towers due to the belief that they can cause the growth of brain tumours and increase the risk of cancer. The UK study dispels that myth and confirms the international consensus.

Martin Gledhill, an electromagnetic frequency expert in Christchurch, has been monitoring international research regarding cellphone use. He said the latest findings the study by Britain's Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Programme (MTHR) only support the conclusion of specialist groups. They found no conclusive evidence of negative health effects after exposure to radiofrequency fields commonly present in cellphones.

Public Health England produced the report which covered 11 years of research. The programme supported 31 research projects with 60 papers in scientific journals.

MTHR Chairman Professor David Coggon said the programme was developed to shed light to various "scientific uncertainties" on the potential health effects of using cellphones. A research study was conducted within the programme to restore public confidence in the safety of telecommunications systems.

The British government and the telecommunications industry jointly gave 13.6 million pounds for the MTHR programme.

Professor Coggon said the research programme had been overseen by an independent committee to ensure that the government and the telecoms industry will not influence the outcomes of the study.

In 2013, a study in Spain had identified a link between the increased growth of malignant tumours and cellphone use. It was published in the September issue of the International Journal of Oncology, but the study examined brain tumours diagnosed between 2007 and 2009.

International cancer research is always of interest as more studies attempt to discover the ultimate cure to the disease. The World Health Organisation (WHO) predicts that cancer cases will increase to 24 million a year by 2035. However, the WHO said half of those cases can be prevented. According to the WHO report, about 14 million people are diagnosed with cancer every year, but it will reach 19 million by 2025 before hitting 24 million by 2035.

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(Photo: Reuters / )
A woman talks on her mobile phone as the rain begins to fall in New York November 26, 2013. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
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