The latest research from America has found no evidence that mobile phone use can lead to an increased risk of ear tumours. However, the team that carried out the survey have warned that more investigation is still needed.
The research, which was carried out at the New York University Medical Centre, involved 90 people who have a type of ear tumour called an acoustic neuroma. Scientists looked to see whether these people had a history of greater than average mobile phone use compared to a control sample of 86 other individuals.
No link was found, though. "The risk of acoustic neuroma was unrelated to cellular telephone use," reported researcher Joshua Muscat.
The research, which is published in the latest edition of the Neurology journal, considered how long those with an acoustic neuroma had been using a mobile phone, and also how often they used their mobiles.
The study did find that those people who had owned a mobile phone for three years had a slightly greater risk of acoustic neuroma, but this was not seen as significant as these individuals were relatively infrequent mobile phone users. It also found that acoustic neuromas more often occurred on the opposite side of the head to the one that the mobile phone had been held to.
An acoustic neuroma is a benign tumour that develops on a nerve between the brain and the inner ear, and can be life-threatening. The cause is unknown.
Despite these findings, the scientists have recommended that more research is carried out, focusing on longer-term mobile phone users.
Several other recent studies have failed to find evidence linking mobile phone use to health dangers. There is still public concern, though, that both the handsets and the base stations could pose a risk.