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Cell phone users who talk for long periods have no increased risk of developing brain tumors

Cell phone users who talk for long periods have no increased risk of developing brain tumors

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Maria Fichting. Photo: Andreas Anderson.

– For the first time, researchers were able to conduct a forward-looking cohort study in which detailed information was collected about participants' mobile phone use. The results showed that those who spoke the largest number of hours in total on a mobile phone did not have a greater risk of developing a brain tumor than others, the results say. Maria Fichtingprofessor at Institute of Environmental MedicineKarolinska Institutet, which led the COSMOS study on cancer risk.

The incidence of brain tumors did not differ among the 10 percent who spent the most hours on the mobile phone overall from the individuals who used the mobile phone less.

Used mobile phone for more than 15 years

People who started using a mobile phone more than 15 years before answering the COSMOS questionnaire were no more likely to develop the disease than those who had used a mobile phone for a shorter period.

According to the researchers, COSMOS is the only study to date that has been able to combine a prospective cohort design, measuring change in exposure and outcomes over time, with detailed information on the extent of mobile phone use.

COSMOS has now shown that those who talk a lot on their mobile phones are no more likely to develop a brain tumor than others.

In 2011, the World Health Organization's Institute for Research on Cancer, IARC, classified radiofrequency fields as “probably carcinogenic.” This evaluation was based largely on case-control studies that retrospectively asked brain tumor patients and healthy controls to use their cell phones in the past.

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The researchers note that the COSMOS findings will be an important contribution to the scientific basis for future health risk assessments, but more research is needed.

Mobile phone technology is constantly changing and some of the tumors we studied are very rare. Therefore, we will continue to follow COSMOS participants so that we can draw safer conclusions about possible risks in the long term, says Maria Fichting.

In Sweden, the study was funded by the Swedish Research Council, the Research Council on Working Life, Health and Welfare (FORTE), AFA Insurance, the Radiation Safety Authority, and VINNOVA (see the study for more information about funding).

Many researchers have participated or participated as scientific experts in committees on behalf of national and international authorities, such as the World Health Organization and the European Union. The researchers state that there is no conflict of interest.

Publishing

“Mobile phone use and risk of brain tumor – COSMOS, a prospective cohort study”Maria Fichting, Joachim Schoes, Mireille B. Toledano, Roel Vermeulen, Anssi Auvinen, Aslak Harbo Poulsen, Isabelle Deltour, Rachel B. Smith, Joel Heller, Hans Kromhout, Ank Hoss, Christopher Johansen, Giorgio Titamanti, Paul Elliott, International environmentonline March 2024, doi:10.1016/j.envint.2024.108552.