In the first month’s edition of 2001 of the prestigious scientific journal New England Journal of Medicine published the results of a study conducted by researchers at the National Institute of Health in the United States on using cell phones and the risk brain tumor.
The cell phone contains a small transmitter that emits radiation near the head. This has caused great concern among the population, since it was not known whether this radiation could cause brain cancer or other organs of the central nervous system. In fact, studies are done with reference to this issue since 1994.
That study included 800 patients with this tumor from institutions in the U.S. cities of Phoenix, Boston and Pittsburgh and 800 control cases. Data collection consisted of a personalized comprehensive survey, with very specific questions about the start date of cell phone use, how long you used it, last date and level of use. There was no information about the appliance model. The completed data collected in 1998.
The researchers found no evidence that a person’s risk of developing a brain tumor increased with the number of years to minutes average daily usage of mobile phone. Neither brain tumors tended to occur more often than expected from the side of the head in that reported using the phone.
Among those most used, the average was approximately 15 minutes per day or more for at least three years. Very few people used this type of equipment frequently for more than five years.
Peter Inskip, Sc.D., who was the principal investigator, said they found no evidence that cell phone use caused brain tumors, however, clarified, whether the increased risk occurred after more than five years old or people high intensity of use, this study probably did not detect.
The research was conducted between 1994 and 1998 in which they were most commonly used analog phones. Currently dominated by digital, operating at a higher frequency. However, there is no evidence so far that the risk of cancer differs between these two types of cell.
Similar results were found in two other studies, one published in December 2000 in the Journal of the American Medical Association by Muscat et al, which included 469 cases of brain cancer and 422 controls and another study conducted in Sweden by Hardell et al which included 233 cases and 466 controls. Neither of these two investigations found no association. Only reported a relationship between the side of the head that was used to talk on the phone and location of the tumor, but this association was based on very few cases.
Today, there are also three types of wireless or mobile phones used: cell phones for cars, portable phones and cordless phones. All these involve less exposure to radiation of the brain as the unit that issues it is at some distance from the person.
If very small cell phones that are carried in the hand no higher risk of brain tumor, would be very surprising that these other types of phones do it cause as exposed to a much lower frequency radiation.
The number of mobile phone users has increased tremendously in the last 10 years and trends continue. Because of this, a lot of scientific research studying the relationship between cell phone use and brain tumor, are currently undertaking.
The largest is a multicenter international including 3000 cases and 3000 controls, coordinated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), headquartered in Lyon, France. Still remain several years to obtain results.
Moreover, it is expected that the results of another study in Denmark that includes 550,000 mobile phone users from 1982 to 1995, to be published. Currently in the U.S. and UK, are providing funds and efforts to continue the development of research on this topic.
The causes of brain cancer are unknown, therefore, scientists from the National Cancer Institute USA, evaluated a wide range of possible risk factors which include environmental, related to lifestyle and genetics. These include occupational exposure to chemicals and electromagnetic fields, dietary factors, family history of tumors, genetic factors, home use of some artifacts, reproductive history and hormonal exposures, viruses, and both medical and dental exposure to ionizing radiation.
The results of these reports will appear in future publications and due to the interest of the population, the use of cell phones will be the first.