Feeds

Cell phones don't fry brains, boffins say

'But don't quote us'

Security for virtualized datacentres

In another blow to the cancer Cassandras crying out that cell phones rot your brain, a new Scandinavian study was released on Thursday indicating that cell-phone usage doesn't lead to an increased risk of brain cancer.

Being scientists rather than fear-mongers, however, the researchers from Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden were careful to say that their study didn't conclusively prove that holding a cell phone against your skull is as safe as laying said noggin upon a Mediflow Waterbase pillow, but rather that it simply proved that no cell-phone causation could be discovered in their study of 59,984 brain tumor sufferers.

The study was based on a statistical analysis of glioma and meningioma incidence in the four countries between 1974 and 2003. Seeing as how, as the study notes, "Mobile phone use in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden increased sharply in the mid-1990s," the researchers studied the data to determine whether cancer incidence increased after "an induction period of 5–10 years."

The answer they obtained was, simply put, "Nope."

Well, that's how we interpret it, but not how the careful Scandivian boffins explain their findings. As their analysis concludes, the reason for the lack of a cancer surge can be explained because either "the increased risk in this population is too small to be observed, the increased risk is restricted to subgroups of brain tumors or mobile phone users, or there is no increased risk.

"Our finding that brain tumor incidence rates were either stable, decreased, or continued a gradual increase that started before the introduction of mobile phones," the study's authors write, "is consistent with mobile phone use having no observable effect on brain tumor incidence."

Such reasonable caution is a welcome counterpoint to, for example, a doc from the University of Albany who told a US congressional committee last September: "The evidence available now poses the frightening strong possibility [sic] that we are facing an epidemic of brain cancer and other cancers in the future as a result of the uncontrolled use of cell phones."

We don't expect the debate over cell-phone danger to disappear anytime soon, though. Dr Michael Thun, late of the American Cancer Society, told WebMD that although the study was a good one that "clearly shows the incidence" of brain tumors not increasing after a period of five to 10 years: "The study doesn’t answer the question of what happens after 50 years."

Which is good news to the US researchers who this September urged another US congressional committee to levy a one-dollar-per-phone tax on all mobile phones to pay for further research. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless
The smaller the wave, the bigger 5G's chances of success
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.