Research into cancer and mobile phones has run its course for now

Yet another report--and this time reported to be among the most extensive--into the link between long-term use of mobile phones and brain cancer has been published. Again, this report finds no connection between handsets and them causing brain tumours or damage to the central nervous system.

In an effort to resolve the argument, Danish researchers who conducted the analysis (and published an earlier report in 2006) looked at data collected from nearly 11,000 central nervous system tumours between 1990 and 2007. They found that the cancer rate between individuals who had used mobile phones for 13 years or more was similar to that of non-users.

This research was extended for another five-year period, but still found no evidence that the risk of brain tumours was raised among nearly 360,000 mobile phone subscribers over the total 18-year period.

Those who want to read through this comprehensive study should start at the British Medical Journal website and follow from there.

However, the researchers then, like many others before them, kept the door open to more in-depth studies by stating there is a small to moderate increase in risk for subgroups of heavy users or after even longer induction periods than 10-15 years. This is then followed by suggestions that even larger population groups should be studied.

Who will fund this effort--the wireless industry has been criticised in the past for providing financial support--is unclear, but perhaps it will fall to whichever government has any enthusiasm left in pursuing the matter.

It certainly becomes difficult to accept that continued research into this issue will produce a definitive answer in the next few years, and perhaps should be left to rest unresolved for five years.

There are arguments against this--the health risks of cigarettes example is one--and the matter shouldn't be forgotten or disguised. But the research seems to have run its course for now.--Paul

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