Saturday, August 29, 2009

Epidemiological evidence for an association between use of wireless phones and tumor diseases

aDepartment of Oncology, University Hospital, SE-701 85 Örebro, Sweden

bDepartment of Radiation Physics, Umeå University, SE-901 87 Umeå, Sweden

Received 7 November 2008; 
accepted 30 January 2009. 
Available online 5 March 2009.


During recent years there has been increasing public concern on potential cancer risks from microwave emissions from wireless phones. We evaluated the scientific evidence for long-term mobile phone use and the association with certain tumors in case–control studies, mostly from the Hardell group in Sweden and the Interphone study group. Regarding brain tumors the meta-analysis yielded for glioma odds ratio (OR) = 1.0, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.9–1.1. OR increased to 1.3, 95% CI = 1.1–1.6 with 10 year latency period, with highest risk for ipsilateral exposure (same side as the tumor localisation), OR = 1.9, 95% CI = 1.4–2.4, lower for contralateral exposure (opposite side) OR = 1.2, 95% CI = 0.9–1.7. Regarding acoustic neuroma OR = 1.0, 95% CI = 0.8–1.1 was calculated increasing to OR = 1.3, 95% CI = 0.97–1.9 with 10 year latency period. For ipsilateral exposure OR = 1.6, 95% CI = 1.1–2.4, and for contralateral exposure OR = 1.2, 95% CI = 0.8–1.9 were found. Regarding meningioma no consistent pattern of an increased risk was found. Concerning age, highest risk was found in the age group <20 years at time of first use of wireless phones in the studies from the Hardell group. For salivary gland tumors, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and testicular cancer no consistent pattern of an association with use of wireless phones was found. One study on uveal melanoma yielded for probable/certain mobile phone use OR = 4.2, 95% CI = 1.2–14.5. One study on intratemporal facial nerve tumor was not possible to evaluate due to methodological shortcomings. In summary our review yielded a consistent pattern of an increased risk for glioma and acoustic neuroma after >10 year mobile phone use. We conclude that current standard for exposure to microwaves during mobile phone use is not safe for long-term exposure and needs to be revised.

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