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Cell Phone Brain Cancer Study Doesn't Ring True? Scientists Explain Why

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July 28, 2011

BERKELEY, Calif. - Youths using cell phones do not face a higher risk of brain cancer, a new study says. However, two California scientists who have looked at the report say that's not the whole story.

The study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute concludes that youngsters who use cell phones have no greater risk of brain cancer than do non-users. Parents shouldn't breathe a sigh of relief, according to Joel Moskowitz, director of the University of California-Berkeley's Center for Family and Community Health. Moskowitz has reviewed the research and claims the results actually verify higher tumor risks for children but the findings are downplayed.

"They did report a number of significant associations between cell-phone use, in terms of number of years of use, with brain-tumor risk in children. And they try to dismiss those, as well."

Regular cell-phone users in the study were described as those using a phone once a week for six months, says Moskowitz, who calls that frequency "barely even using a phone." Usage by American children and teens is much higher, he says. The study was conducted in Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden and Norway.

Because mobile-phone usage among youths has increased over the years, the researchers noted, a careful watch on the trend is needed. Retired electronics engineer Lloyd Morgan has been doing just that - authoring several reports on links between the RF radiation exposure from cell phones and brain tumors. Morgan also has analyzed the newest report, which he says - like the highly criticized Interphone study a year ago - considers radiation exposures not reflective of typical use, and therefore downplays brain-tumor risk.

"They contradict their own conclusion, when you read the paper. It isn't what the abstract says it is."

On a related RF radiation health-safety note, several public health watchdogs and the American Academy of Environmental Medicine sent a request to Congress this week asking that it direct the Federal Communications Commission to update outdated cell-tower safety regulations. The groups cite a growing body of science showing RF biological effects, such as links to cancer, and other health issues including memory ability.

The research is online at oxfordjournals.org. Details about the letter to Congress about the FCC and cell towers are at businesswire.com.

Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - CA