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Excessive cell phone use linked to cancer

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Excessive Cell Phone Use Linked To Cancer
Posted on: 31-03-2008

New York (eCanadaNow) - According to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, Israeli mobile phone users who had used the phone on one side of their head for several hours a day were 50% more likely to have developed a salivary gland tumor, BBC News reports.

The study also found an increased risk of cancer for heavy users who lived in rural areas, as cell phones in rural areas emit more radiation to communicate effectively because of longer distances between them and antennas,writes the Jerusalem Post's Judy Siegel-Itzkovich.

"Because of their heavier than average cell phone use, Israelis are considered good subjects for studying how cell phone use could impact people over time," writes Switched's Will Safer. "According to the researchers, the Israeli study shows what happens at an accelerated rate compared to other populations."

The study, unlike many other epidemiological studies, compared "heavy use" of cell phones rather than "ever use" of cell phones to come to their conclusions.

Those who were in the highest category of cell phone use, based on number of calls and total call time, had a 58 percent increased risk of developing parotid gland tumors on the side of the head where they held the phone. There was no increased risk of tumor development on the side of the head where they did not hold the phone.

With 90 percent of individuals in Western countries using cell phones, what should we do with this information?

Sadetzski, the lead researcher in this study, suggests that parents be vigilant about their children's use of cell phones, limiting the number of calls and time spent on the phone. Many European countries have already taken actions to protect children, and recommend children use cell phones only for necessary calls to parents.

However, many other studies in recent years have found no increased risk of cancer due to mobile phone use.

The U.K. Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Programme last year “found no association between short term mobile phone use and brain cancer,” and noted that “the situation for longer term exposure is less clear.”

In 2006, the American Journal of Epidemiology published a Swedish salivary gland study, “Mobile Phone Use and Risk of Parotid Gland Tumor,” and the authors found no increased risk of tumors caused by cell phone use.

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