Children whose mothers lived close to a base station during pregnancy are no more likely to develop cancer than those living further away, a major new study has concluded.
The study by a team of UK researchers found no link between developing early childhood cancers and the mother’s exposure to radiofrequency from macrocell mobile phone base stations during pregnancy.
Almost 7,000 children were included in the study, which compared a national database of child-cancer patients aged up to four years old against a database of cell sites provided by the UK’s four mobile carriers for the period 1996-2001.
Exposure metrics were estimated based on the distance from the nearest base station, total power output from the station, and power density at each birth address.
Although the results, which were published in the British Medical Journal today, show no link between proximity and childhood cancers, the researchers point out it cannot be used to rule out a potential link between long-term exposure and increased risk of cancer.
The results of a decade-long, WHO-backed, study into whether prolonged cell-phone use increased the risk of brain cancers found no causal link when published last month, however last week a team of US researchers argued that study’s methodology was wrong, and that it underestimated the risk of cancer by at least 25%.