People who use cell phones for at least 30 minutes a day over the course of 10 years have a greater risk of developing brain cancer, according to a landmark study from the World Health Organization.
The chance of developing a malignant tumor is increased by more than a third with prolonged use.
According to the Times Online:
“The outcome of the 10-year Interphone study —--the largest of its kind, compiling research from 13 countries -- has been eagerly anticipated by both the phone industry, which contributed substantially to its funding, and campaigners who warn of radiation risks from handsets.”
The Interphone study, which was performed from 1999 to 2004, is THE study on cell phones that the world has been waiting for. It cost more than $30 million (funded in part by the mobile phone industry) to carry out, and involved nearly 50 scientists from 13 countries, along with more than 14,000 people.
The results were meant to finally give definitive evidence on the safety, or lack thereof, of cell phones, but now that the data is finally being released, there are more questions than answers, as the study is proving to be seriously flawed.
Already, the Interphone study is lagging years behind its scheduled completion date. Part of the delay in putting together the final report now appears to be internal strife, as scientists are reported to differ in their interpretation of the results.
The GSM Association, a global trade organization of mobile operators, and the forum, which includes Nokia and about a dozen other manufacturers, contributed more than $3.5 million to the $30-plus million project. The European Commission also helped fund it with contributions passed through the International Union Against Cancer in an effort to create a barrier between the mobile phone industry and the scientists.
So what did the much-awaited results say?
Does Radiation from Cell Phones Cause Brain Tumors?
This is the question the Interphone study set out to answer, and indeed they did find a correlation. However, many media outlets have reported that Interphone found no correlation between cell phone use and cancer overall.
What they neglect to mention is that “heavy users” of cell phones were found to have an approximately doubled risk of glioma, a life threatening and often-fatal brain tumor, after 10 years of cell phone use.
Now remember, this study was conducted from 1999-2004, and at that time “heavy” use was defined as about two hours a month! The results are clearly outdated, because in the decade that’s passed since the study was begun, cell phone use has grown exponentially and it is not at all unusual for people to use a cell phone for two hours or more a day!
As Camilla Rees, founder of ElectromagneticHealth.org, wrote:
“An extremely light user today might use the cell phone for two hours a month (a ‘heavy user’ at the time of the Interphone study), while many others use the cell phone for much of the day, making risk of brain tumor potentially far, far greater, and also of enormous unknown risk to children.”
The Interphone study design appears to be so flawed that results have shown a protective effect from using cell phones 10 years or less, a result that even the Interphone researchers admit is not at all plausible.
There are many other serious flaws as well …
11 Serious Design Flaws Revealed
A team of international EMF activists -- the International EMF Collaborative -- has released a report detailing 11 serious design flaws of the Interphone study. They say a ‘systemic-skew’ in the study is greatly underestimating brain tumor risk, and they pointed out the following flaws, among others:
- Categorizing subjects who used portable phones (which emit the same microwave radiation as cell phones) as ‘unexposed’
- Excluding many types of brain tumors
- Excluding people who had died, or were too ill to be interviewed as a consequence of their brain tumor
- Excluding children and young adults, who are more vulnerable to the effects of radiation and who now use cell phones heavily
The Interphone study also has data on two other tumor types, acoustic neuromas and salivary gland tumors, which have been associated with cell phone use in the past. But the information was not included in the recently published results.
You can read the full report Cellphones and Brain Tumors: 15 Reasons for Concern, Science, Spin and the Truth Behind Interphone here.
As Lloyd Morgan, lead author of the report and member of the Bioelectromagnetics Society says:
“Exposure to cell phone radiation is the largest human health experiment ever undertaken, without informed consent, and has some 4 billion participants enrolled.
Science has shown increased risk of brain tumors from use of cell phones, as well as increased risk of eye cancer, salivary gland tumors, testicular cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and leukemia.
The public must be informed."
Warnings Must be Made … but Likely Won’t Be
You may be wondering why, if there is so much data showing the risks of cell phone use, no warnings are being made. First, the telecommunication industry is even BIGGER than the drug industry, and they have far more influence in Washington.
This is compounded by the fact that a large percentage of retirement funds from several powerful lobbying organizations are invested in telecommunications.
Second, institutions like the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Commission have cautioned that conclusions about possible cancer risks from cell phones cannot be drawn until the Interphone study is published.
Now that the study has been released, however, its design flaws are rendering the results dangerously outdated and insufficient. If the wrong conclusions are drawn from the Interphone studies, and this is the direction that many media outlets are taking right now, the resulting lack of public warnings could have disastrous consequences for the generations to come.
As Camilla Rees stated:
“The questionable circumstances surrounding the Interphone study, its 5-year delay, design flaws, reporting omissions, and conflicting published results is screaming for a societal response. There are an estimated 4.6 billion cell phone users globally and more truth telling is needed NOW.
A 40% increased risk of glioma was found after 1,640 hours of cell phone use, even after the effects from the design flaws that underestimate risk.
Not only was this not the essence of the news communicated by the Interphone Study Group, and many media reports that followed, but the researchers then used a single design flaw, that they do acknowledge, as a basis to claim ‘no causal relationship’ could be stated, effectively spreading the message ’round the globe that cell phones are not linked to brain cancer.
Independent research on this subject tells us this is untrue, and the public has once again been misled on this ever so important emerging public health issue.”
And this is why I urge you to take action NOW. Do not wait for the results of more studies to come in, and please do not be swayed by cell phone safety spin.
Best Ways to Reduce Health Damage from Cell Phones
The true damage from cell phone exposure will take many years to surface, and there are rarely any initial symptoms, just like smoking and lung cancer.
At this point, you cannot completely avoid wireless radiation from all sources since they’re so pervasive. Getting rid of your cell phone altogether can help protect you. But even if you don’t want to take that step, you can still minimize your exposure and reduce your risks by following these common sense guidelines:
- Children Should Never Use Cell Phones: Barring a life-threatening emergency, children should not use a cell phone, or a wireless device of any type. Children are far more vulnerable to cell phone radiation than adults, because of their thinner skull bones and other factors.
- Reduce Your Cell Phone Use: Turn your cell phone off more often. Reserve it for emergencies or important matters.
- Use a Land Line at Home and at Work: Although more and more people are switching to using cell phones as their exclusive phone contact, it is a dangerous trend and you can choose to opt out of the madness.
- Reduce or Eliminate Your Use of Other Wireless Devices: You would be wise to cut down your use of these devices. Just as with cell phones, it is important to ask yourself whether or not you really need to use them every single time. Even portable home phones, including the older kind that operate at 900 MHz, can be a problem.
The lesson from the field is that all DECT portable phones are a problem. If you do not know if you have a DECT phone (as many are not labeled as such), the ONLY way to know for sure is to measure. You can learn about measuring instrumentation at www.emfsafetystore.com.
For "hands free" calls at home, I recommend getting the old-fashioned speakerphone (either attached to the phone or separate) or using SKYPE on your computer on speaker mode, which is terrific.
- Use Your Cell Phone Only Where Reception is Good: The weaker the reception, the more power your phone must use to transmit, and the more power it uses, the more radiation it emits, and the deeper the dangerous radio waves penetrate into your body.
Ideally, you should only use your phone with full bars and good reception. Also seek to avoid carrying your phone on your body as that merely maximizes any potential exposure. Ideally put it in your purse or carrying bag.
- Turn Your Cell Phone Off When Not in Use: As long as your cell phone is on, it emits radiation intermittently, even when you are not actually making a call.
- Keep Your Cell Phone Away From Your Body When it is On: The most dangerous place to be, in terms of radiation exposure, is near the emitting antenna. You do not want any part of your body near this area and proximity is everything. The closer the phone is to your body, the worse the exposure -- with the exposure falling off dramatically with distance. Thus, using the speaker mode, the farther you can keep the phone away from your body and still hear the call, the better.
- Use Safer Headset Technology: Wired headsets will certainly allow you to keep the cell phone farther away from your body. However, if a wired headset is not well-shielded -- and most of them are not -- the wire itself acts as an antenna attracting ambient radio waves and transmitting radiation directly to your brain and your body, for example over your heart.
Make sure that the wire used to transmit the signal to your ear is shielded.
The best kind of headset to use is a combination shielded wire and air-tube headset. These operate like a stethoscope, transmitting the information to your head as an actual sound wave; although there are wires that still must be shielded, there is no wire that goes all the way up to your head.
This issue is one of great importance, and I’ve created an entire Web site dedicated to EMF education and information. Feel free to bookmark EMF.mercola.com, and check back on occasion for the latest news and updates.