Large Study on Cell Phone Cancer Risk Proves Puzzling
The world's largest study investigating the link between cell phone use and cancer risk in humans has turned up conflicting results.
"The findings of the Interphone Study are ambiguous, surprising and puzzling," said study team member Jack Siemiatycki, an epidemiologist at the University of Montreal in Canada.
The Interphone International Study Group examined whether cellular radio frequencies could be correlated to brain tumors and looked at over 10,000 people from around the world for 10 years, including cell phone users, non cell phone users, cell phone users who survived brain cancer as well as brain cancer survivors who had never used cell phones .
The results are puzzling because when data from all of the cell phone users were lumped together and compared with data from all the non cell phone users and analyzed, there seemed to be no increase in brain cancer among the users.
Yet, at the same time, the study also found that heavy cell phone users appeared to be at a higher risk of brain tumors than non-users.
The scientists admit they don't know what to make of the conflicting results, but Siemiatycki speculates that the study's methodology was flawed or that the participants recalled inaccurate information about their cell phone usage habits.
Despite the inconclusive results of the Interphone Study, consumers should not panic about possible risks related to cell phones, Siemiatycki said.
"If there are risks, they are probably pretty small," he said. "Should anyone be concerned about potential dangers of cell phones, they can remedy the issue by using hands-free devices and avoid exposure to radio frequencies around their head."