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December 6, 2006

Revisiting the cellphone-cancer issue

Posted by Tricia Duryee at 11:19 AM

A frequent question about cellphones is whether they are linked to causing cancer.

That's difficult to answer because studies have come to conflicting conclusions.

According to a study released yesterday, cellphones do not increase a person's risk of tumors of the brain, salivary gland or eyes, leukemia or cancer overall, according to a Reuters report.

The broad study involved more than 400,000 Danish cellular telephone users, who were studied by a team of researchers, who used data on the entire population of Denmark to find that neither short- nor long-term use of cellphones, was linked to cancer.

"I think the results of this study are quite reassuring," Joachim Schuz of the Danish Institute of Cancer Epidemiology in Copenhagen, the lead researcher, told Reuters in an interview by cellphone from Denmark.

"The big advantage is a whole nation is included in the study," Schuz said.

Cellphones do emit an electromagnetic field that can penetrate the brain, and some scientists have sought to determine whether this could cause cancer or other health problems.

The FDA's Web site has a conflicting study that reports an increased risk of malignant brain tumor associated with long-term use (10 or more years) of cellphones or cordless phones.

But it concludes that the study's approach is different than others, and the absence of supporting animal data make it difficult to interpret.

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Tricia Duryee
Tricia Duryee
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Angel Gonzalez
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Kristi Heim
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