There are 300 million cell phones in America, almost as many phones as people, but there are still some concerns about their safety — especially in younger people. Are they safe? Well, a new study may help answer that question. The study of cell phone users under the age of 20 found NO link between cell phone use and an increased risk of brain cancer.
USA Today reports, “Using cellphones doesn’t increase children’s cancer risk, according to a new study, the latest in a series of papers that find no link between the phones and brain tumors.”
The research focused on about 1,000 Western European children.
“Kids who used cellphones were no more likely to develop a brain tumor than others, according to the study of children ages seven to 19” in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Currently, the International Agency for Research on Cancer branch of the World Health Organization lists cell phones along with pickles and coffee as “possibly carcinogenic.” The American Cancer Society says people who are worried can use hands-free devices or speakerphones.
The AP reports that researchers found that a few dozen children “who’d had cellphone service the longest, about three years or more, did have an increased risk. The researchers at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute noted that childhood brain cancer hasn’t increased since cellphones appeared. But they encouraged more research, saying their study wasn’t large enough to rule out a small risk and that kids’ cellphone use has increased since 2008.”
According to a report in the Washington Post “The Checkup” blog, “an accompanying editorial points out that brain tumor incidence among children and teens (and among the population as a whole) has remained steady over the past 20 years, even as cellphone use has risen dramatically since the 1980s.”
The CNN “The Chart” blog reported that former advisor to US Department of Health and Human Services Devra Davis called the study “an astonishing, disturbing and unwarranted conclusion,” and slammed the accompanying “editorial written by industry-associated scientists.”
According to Davis, saying children are not at risk from cell phones “does a profound disservice to the public.”
However, it appears that the actual data disagrees with Davis and her ilk.