Study into cell phone usage and cancer proves little

After spending US$24 million over the last ten years, the high-profile Interphone study into the possible links between cancer and cell phone usage has been labelled a waste of time.

The survey of almost 13,000 participants found most cell phone use didn't increase the risk of developing meningioma, a common and frequently benign tumour, or glioma, a rarer but deadlier form of cancer.

The report authors have acknowledged possible inaccuracies in the survey from the fact that participants were asked to remember how much and on which ear they used their mobiles over the past decade.

Results for some groups indicated cell phone use actually appeared to lessen the risk of developing cancers, something the researchers described as 'implausible.'

The study, which involved bitter infighting between the researchers involved from 13 countries, received around 25 per cent funding from the cell phone industry.

European scientists last month launched what will now become the biggest study into the effects of mobile phone use on long-term health. It aims to track at least a quarter of a million people in five European countries for up to 30 years.

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