Evidence for mobile phone safety in doubt

EPIDEMIOLOGISTS have renewed concerns over the safety of constant mobile phone use, warning that many previous studies were flawed. 

Environmental health experts from Spain and Israel have questioned evidence suggesting mobile phone use did not increase brain tumour risk, saying participants in previous studies had low levels of use and only short follow-up. 

Interphone, the largest study to date, only followed up heavy users for a maximum of five years, they said. 

Risk is likely to be confined only to a small proportion of the entire brain, so studies analysing all brain tumours together likely diluted the real risk, they added. 

The evidence suggested long-term users had an increased risk of solid tumours, and people with the highest decile of cumulative call time – about 27 minutes daily ­ also had a 40% higher risk. Heavy users had an increased risk of glioma in the temporal lobe.