Largest-ever study finds no mobile cancer link

But scientists caution that their research isn't an 'all clear'

The largest ever scientific study of mobile phone health concerns has concluded that there is no link between handset use and cancer.

Doctors at the Danish Cancer Society investigated each of the 420,000 Danes who have owned a mobile phone between 1982 and 1995. After examining the medical histories of this group, the researchers concluded that there was no evidence of a cancer link.

This is the first nationwide study into the incidence of cancer among mobile phone users.

"[The study] does not support the hypothesis of a link between the use of these phones and cancer of the brain, salivary glands, central nervous system or leukaemia," stated the report, which was published in the US Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

The findings support earlier research which has also failed to find evidence that mobile phone use causes tumours. Late last year, an American study found no proof that patients with brain cancer has used mobile phones more than average.

Senior author of the Danish report, Dr Christoffer Johansen, cautioned that his study should not be taken as an all-clear that mobiles are definitely safe. He explained that the research did not include enough long-term users, or those who use their mobile for long periods of time.

Johansen also warned that his study did not consider other ailments linked to mobile handset use, such as migraines or tinnitus.

Despite the absence of proof that mobile phone use causes health problems, some scientists are concerned. Writing in The Lancet late last year, UK scientist Dr Gerard Hyland warned that children are at the greatest risk from mobile phone radiation, which could harm a number of brain functions.

Johansen agrees that children should avoid unnecessary exposure to mobile phone radiation.

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Rupert Goodwins is getting in a froth about the the very doyen of middle-class sensibilities, Radio 4's You and Yours programme transmitting a piece about radio and health. He asks "What is the risk?" We live in a country where you can buy cigarettes over the counter and drink yourself to a coma every night. He maintains the only danger you're in from your mobile phone comes from colonic rupture if it rings once too often, too loudly in a place filled with choleric Chelsea fans. Go to AnchorDesk for the news comment.

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