There's always rumors floating around that a new type of technology causes cancer. And according to a new study published in the journal Pathophysiology, the longer people talk on wireless phones, the higher their risk of developing brain cancer.
Oncologist Lennart Hardell from University Hospital in Orebro, Sweden and colleague Michael Carlberg compared 1,380 patients with malignant brain tumors to people without, and analyzed data regarding their mobile phone usage.
The study found that Swedes who talked on mobile phones for more than 25 years had triple the risk of developing glioma, a deadly type of brain cancer, compared to those who used mobile phones for less than year. However, the risk still remains low based on malignant brain tumor data from the European Journal of Cancer. The tripled rate is only .016 percent.
They found that glioma was the only type of cancer linked to mobile phone use, and people were twice as likely to be diagnosed with glioma if the talked on their phone for more than 1,486 hours.
The findings contradict the largest study on the topic, which was partially funded by cell phone companies and conducted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer in 2010. That study found no link between malignant brain tumors and mobile phones.
According to the National Cancer Institute, "studies thus far have not shown a consistent link between cell phone use and cancers of the brain, nerves, or other tissues of the head or neck."
The new study suggests that long-term effects of constant smartphone use could dangerously affect our health, but Dr. Gabriel Zada, a neurosurgeon at the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine who wasn't involved in the new study, says more research needs to be done.
"A lot of people ask me, 'Why did I get this brain tumor?'" he said. "There are a lot of different theories. It's a much more convoluted picture than just saying cell phones caused this."
Wireless phones emit radio frequency radiation that could enter body tissues surrounding the area where the phone is held, such as the brain.
Children are the most as risk for these harmful emissions because they have thinner skulls. "Girls tends to put the smart phone below the pillow," he said. "It's a bad habit to go to bed with your smart phone," Hardell said.
Mobile phone use tripled between 2000 and 2010 in the U.S., but the rate of brain cancers that could be linked to radiation did not increase.
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