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Mobile phone masts not such a menace

Unlikely to hurt babies unless they actually fall on 'em

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A study of children born near mobile phone masts has concluded that having excellent mobile coverage does not increase the risk of cancer in unborn children.

The study, published by the British Medical Journal, used statistical analysis of 7000 children to establish that being exposed to the radiation from a mobile phone mast during pregnancy doesn't increase the risk of the child developing cancer in the first five years of life.

The researchers used more than 1000 cancer cases in toddlers, establishing how far they lived from a mast and thus the radiation to which their mothers were exposed. Comparing those numbers with a control group established the lack of statistical risk.

Of course – statistical proof can never compare to anecdotal evidence, so some people will continue to believe that death stalks the airwaves. The BMJ editorial now recommends "clinicians should reassure patients not to worry about proximity to mobile phone masts".

But research into the effect of mobile phones on adults continues. The 30-year COSMOS study now underway with the intention of following a quarter of a million people to see if there's any statistical relationship between cancer and mobile phone use.

The best bit about this particular gravy train is that it never ends – the researchers involved in the Interphone study called for more study on the basis that mobile phones have changed so much since it started (10 years ago). Whatever mobile phone are like in 30 years, we can be sure of that someone will still be calling for more research into the health effects. ®

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