Massive long-term study – no increased risks of brain cancer

The BMJ (British Medical Journal) published last week an extensive study by researchers at the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology in Copenhagen, Denmark . The study include all Danish Mobile Telephone subscriber during the time period 1990-2007. In total  the 358 403 subscription holders accrued 3.8 million person years.  What ones was looking for was tumour in the central nervous system (i.e. “Brain Cancer”).  The study showed that the difference in  the number of brain cancer cases among the mobile telephone subcribers and the non-users was not statistically significant (in some cases even lower for the mobile phone users).

Will this rather compelling piece of evidence lessen the anxiety about health hazard of wireless technology ? Hardly. The scientific language is full of complicated words such as “not statistically significant”, “we have not found evidence to support…” etc, which are hard to communicate to a general audience.  The risk involved in using  mobile phones is hard to understand which makes us worried, although we cannot come up with any conclusive evidence that using mobile phones is in fact harmful. We seem to be much better at understand the risk of cancer caused by smoking cigarettes, being involved in a fatal car accident etc.  Thousands die every year, but people still smoke and drive cars. On the other hand, life is a fatal condition..

Read the whole study

About Jens Zander

Professor Jens Zander is professor in Radio Communication Systems at the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. He has been among the few in Swedens Ny Teknik magazine's annual list of influential people in ICT that have been given the epithet “Mobile Guru”. He is one of the leading researchers in mobile communication and is the Scientific director of the industry/academia collaboration center Wireless@KTH. His research group focuses on three main areas – the efficient and scalable use of the radio frequency spectrum, economic aspects of mobile systems and application and energy efficiency in future wireless infrastructures.
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