Researchers disagree over cell phone safety findings

The €15 million Interphone study to establish if there is any link between cell phone usage and brain tumours has stalled as prominent cancer researchers remain divided about how to interpret the risks of RF radiation emitted by mobile handsets.

The report is already three years late in being published with some contributors now refusing to talk to each other. Regardless, some of the countries involved with the study have already started to release results, some of which have shown increased risk of brain tumours for heavy users--those who have used their cell phones for more than 10 years on the same side of the head. But this data has been dismissed by others as being based on national samples that are too small to be meaningful. Until the Interphone study is published, institutions like the World Health Organization and the European Commission have cautioned that conclusions about possible cancer risks cannot be drawn.

Michael Milligan, the secretary general of the Mobile Manufacturers Forum, said that cell phone makers were disappointed by the delays of the Interphone study, which they helped to finance. "We've heard that they can't agree on a manuscript and that's essentially where it comes down to," he said, adding, "We certainly have been encouraging the principal investigators to resolve whatever issues they have. Studies into links between cell phones and cancer have been conducted by many organisations around the world, with little, if any, conclusion as to health concerns. This latest attempt seems to have become bogged down in whether the faulty memories of brain cancer patients skewed the results of the study.

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Study discounts phone-cancer link. Research story

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