National
Study raises questions on mobile phone safety
Publish Date: May 13, 2014
Study raises questions on mobile phone safety
A traffic policeman using a mobile phone
  • mail
  • img
newvision

People who use mobile phones intensively appear to have a higher risk of developing certain types of brain cancer, French scientists said on Tuesday, reviving questions about phone safety.

Individuals who used their cellphone for more than 15 hours each month over five years on average had between two and three times greater risk of developing glioma and meningioma tumours compared with people whose used their phone rarely, they found.

The study, appearing in the latest issue of British journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine, is the latest foray in a long-running exploration of mobile-phone safety.

Over the last 15 years, most investigations have failed to turn up conclusive results either way, although several have suggested a link between gliomas and intensive, long-term use.

"Our study is part of that trend, but the results have to be confirmed," said Isabelle Baldi, of the University of Bordeaux in southwestern France, who took part in the probe.

In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) said radiofrequency fields used by mobile phones are possibly carcinogenic.

But research faces several challenges. They include clear proof in the lab that these fields are harmful to human cells.

Another is getting an accurate picture of phone use in real life, filtering out lifestyle factors such as smoking which amplify cancer risk and taking into account changing phone technology.

The new study looked at 253 cases of glioma and 194 cases of meningioma reported in four French departments (counties) between 2004 and 2006.

These patients were matched against 892 "controls," or healthy individuals drawn from the general population, in a bid to spot any differences between the two groups.

The comparison found a higher risk among those who used their phone intensively, especially among those who used it for their work, such as in sales. The duration of use in this category ranged from between two and 10 years, averaging at five years.

But study also found several inconsistencies with other investigations that have suggested a link between heavy phone use and brain cancer.

For instance, in contrast with previous work, it found that cancer occurred on the opposite side of the brain, rather than on the same side, of where the phone was customarily used.

"It is difficult to define a level of risk, if any, especially as mobile phone technology is constantly evolving," the study acknowledged.

"The rapid evolution of technology has led to a considerable increase in the use of mobile phones and a parallel decrease of [radiowave intensity] emitted by the phones.

"Studies taking account of these recent developments and allowing the observation of potential long-term effects will be needed." AFP

 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Another Inter-Agency appeal for S. Sudanese refugees launched
The Ugandan government, UNHCR and other UN agencies have launched another Inter-Agency Appeal asking donor community to avail them with more than US$ 220m (about sh572b) to address the plight of South Sudan refugees living in in the country...
MPs’ absenteeism irks Oulanyah
Frustrated by the poor attendance of plenary by Members of Parliament, the Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah made a directive that all committees should stop business until the house has completed passing the 2014/2015 budget....
Bakabulindi targets Namboole title now
Nakivubo Stadium and National Council of Sports (NCS) having acquired the land titles that give them ownership of the land where the facilities are seated, State Minister Charles Bakabulindi is left with only Mandela National Sports Complex Namboole to accomplish his mission...
Kayihura defends Police militarization
THE Inspector General of Police, Gen. Kale Kayihura has said that there is nothing wrong with the concept of militarization of police...
Parliament passes Tax Procedures Bill
PARLIAMENT has passed the Tax Procedures Bill which is meant to harmonize, consolidate and streamline tax procedures into a single law...
HIV injection nurse appeal hearing date set
The hearing of a criminal appeal in which Rosemary Namubiru, a nurse who is currently serving a three year jail sentence for injecting a-2-year-old baby with HIV-tainted cannula needle, is slated for September 23, 2014....
Will early retirement solve Uganda’s unemployment problem?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter