Mobiles and cancer: No risk, official

At least not for 10 years' use or less

At least not for 10 years' use or less

Mobile phones don't increase the risk of developing cancer, according to a new report from the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR).

The ICR conducted what it calls the "largest ever" study into whether there is a link between mobile phone usage and incidents of acoustic neuroma, a type of tumour which tends to grow in the area of the head where a mobile is held.

Researchers found individuals are at "no substantial risk" of developing the tumour within 10 years of starting to use a mobile phone. The study examined hundreds of mobile users in four European countries - Denmark, Finland, Sweden and the UK - where mobiles have been in use for a comparatively long time.

The ICR revealed that the likelihood of developing acoustic neuroma bore no relation to the average time spent talking on mobiles, average number of calls or the number of years since a mobile was first used.

However, academics noted the study only showed no link between mobiles and cancer in the first 10 years after use and a more long-term link may yet be possible.

The senior investigator at the ICR, professor Anthony Swerdlow, said drawing longer-term conclusions is difficult, due to mobiles only entering widespread use relatively recently.

A study conducted last year by a Swedish organisation, the Institute of Environmental Medicine at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, however, found a connection between mobile use and acoustic neuroma.

Researchers there found the risk of developing a tumour doubles if an individual has been using a mobile for more than 10 years.