A pinboard by
Yann Gor'dan

Been there, got the t shirt. Consultant said Yeah, likely mobile phone radiation. Txt msg instead.


Does mobile phone radiation cause cancer?

The link between mobile phones, the radiation they emit and the effects on the body haven't been proven, yet. The science however tells a story that is worth considering, and I believe that over the coming years we'll look back and realise the scale of the problem caused by early mobile phone handsets.

I was urged by friends and family to curate this collection as someone with first hand experience - at the tender age of 30 I was diagnosed with a significant tumor by my left ear. I'm 45 now and have not suffered a recurrence or any lasting effect, however it still represents a life changing moment and one I shan't forget.

Following surgery and radiotherapy, my consultant oncologist said he was sure mobile phone radiation was the culprit, off the record of course... He said the incidence of a previously rare tumor was suddenly far more common and common in younger people than he had seen before.

This collection contains science research and news related to the subject.


The INTERPHONE study: design, epidemiological methods, and description of the study population.

Abstract: The very rapid worldwide increase in mobile phone use in the last decade has generated considerable interest in the possible health effects of exposure to radio frequency (RF) fields. A multinational case-control study, INTERPHONE, was set-up to investigate whether mobile phone use increases the risk of cancer and, more specifically, whether the RF fields emitted by mobile phones are carcinogenic. The study focused on tumours arising in the tissues most exposed to RF fields from mobile phones: glioma, meningioma, acoustic neurinoma and parotid gland tumours. In addition to a detailed history of mobile phone use, information was collected on a number of known and potential risk factors for these tumours. The study was conducted in 13 countries. Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and the UK using a common core protocol. This paper describes the study design and methods and the main characteristics of the study population. INTERPHONE is the largest case-control study to date investigating risks related to mobile phone use and to other potential risk factors for the tumours of interest and includes 2,765 glioma, 2,425 meningioma, 1,121 acoustic neurinoma, 109 malignant parotid gland tumour cases and 7,658 controls. Particular attention was paid to estimating the amount and direction of potential recall and participation biases and their impact on the study results.

Pub.: 20 Jul '07, Pinned: 06 Nov '17

Use of wireless phones and the risk of salivary gland tumours: a case-control study.

Abstract: The last decades of increasing use of wireless phones, including mobile as well as cordless desktop phones, have led to concerns about the potential carcinogenic effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields. Among the most exposed areas of the body when the phone is used for talking are the salivary glands, mainly the parotid gland, located in front of the ear. The objective of this case-control study was to assess whether the use of wireless phones is associated with an increased risk of tumour at this site. Sixty-nine patients with salivary gland tumours (63 with a parotid gland tumour) and 262 randomly recruited controls were included. Unconditional logistic regression - adjusted for age at diagnosis, sex, year of diagnosis and socioeconomic index - was used to produce odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals. The use of wireless phones was not associated with an overall increased risk of salivary gland tumours, odds ratio 0.8, 95% confidence interval 0.4-1.5. Neither was there an increased risk for the different phone types when calculated separately nor was there an increased risk for different latencies or when cumulative use was divided into three groups (1-1000, 1001-2000 and >2000 h). The overall results were similar for the risk of parotid gland tumours. In conclusion, our data add to the evidence against there being an increased risk for parotid gland tumours associated with light-to-moderate use of wireless phones and for less than 10 years of use but offers little information on risk related to more prolonged and/or heavy use.

Pub.: 22 Mar '12, Pinned: 06 Nov '17

Case-control study of the association between malignant brain tumours diagnosed between 2007 and 2009 and mobile and cordless phone use.

Abstract: Previous studies have shown a consistent association between long-term use of mobile and cordless phones and glioma and acoustic neuroma, but not for meningioma. When used these phones emit radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMFs) and the brain is the main target organ for the handheld phone. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified in May, 2011 RF-EMF as a group 2B, i.e. a 'possible' human carcinogen. The aim of this study was to further explore the relationship between especially long-term (>10 years) use of wireless phones and the development of malignant brain tumours. We conducted a new case-control study of brain tumour cases of both genders aged 18-75 years and diagnosed during 2007-2009. One population-based control matched on gender and age (within 5 years) was used to each case. Here, we report on malignant cases including all available controls. Exposures on e.g. use of mobile phones and cordless phones were assessed by a self-administered questionnaire. Unconditional logistic regression analysis was performed, adjusting for age, gender, year of diagnosis and socio-economic index using the whole control sample. Of the cases with a malignant brain tumour, 87% (n=593) participated, and 85% (n=1,368) of controls in the whole study answered the questionnaire. The odds ratio (OR) for mobile phone use of the analogue type was 1.8, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.04‑3.3, increasing with >25 years of latency (time since first exposure) to an OR=3.3, 95% CI=1.6-6.9. Digital 2G mobile phone use rendered an OR=1.6, 95% CI=0.996-2.7, increasing with latency >15-20 years to an OR=2.1, 95% CI=1.2-3.6. The results for cordless phone use were OR=1.7, 95% CI=1.1-2.9, and, for latency of 15-20 years, the OR=2.1, 95% CI=1.2-3.8. Few participants had used a cordless phone for >20-25 years. Digital type of wireless phones (2G and 3G mobile phones, cordless phones) gave increased risk with latency >1-5 years, then a lower risk in the following latency groups, but again increasing risk with latency >15-20 years. Ipsilateral use resulted in a higher risk than contralateral mobile and cordless phone use. Higher ORs were calculated for tumours in the temporal and overlapping lobes. Using the meningioma cases in the same study as reference entity gave somewhat higher ORs indicating that the results were unlikely to be explained by recall or observational bias. This study confirmed previous results of an association between mobile and cordless phone use and malignant brain tumours. These findings provide support for the hypothesis that RF-EMFs play a role both in the initiation and promotion stages of carcinogenesis.

Pub.: 26 Sep '13, Pinned: 06 Nov '17

Mobile phone use and risk of brain tumours: a systematic review of association between study quality, source of funding, and research outcomes.

Abstract: Mobile phones emit electromagnetic radiations that are classified as possibly carcinogenic to humans. Evidence for increased risk for brain tumours accumulated in parallel by epidemiologic investigations remains controversial. This paper aims to investigate whether methodological quality of studies and source of funding can explain the variation in results. PubMed and Cochrane CENTRAL searches were conducted from 1966 to December 2016, which was supplemented with relevant articles identified in the references. Twenty-two case control studies were included for systematic review. Meta-analysis of 14 case-control studies showed practically no increase in risk of brain tumour [OR 1.03 (95% CI 0.92-1.14)]. However, for mobile phone use of 10 years or longer (or >1640 h), the overall result of the meta-analysis showed a significant 1.33 times increase in risk. The summary estimate of government funded as well as phone industry funded studies showed 1.07 times increase in odds which was not significant, while mixed funded studies did not show any increase in risk of brain tumour. Metaregression analysis indicated that the association was significantly associated with methodological study quality (p < 0.019, 95% CI 0.009-0.09). Relationship between source of funding and log OR for each study was not statistically significant (p < 0.32, 95% CI 0.036-0.010). We found evidence linking mobile phone use and risk of brain tumours especially in long-term users (≥10 years). Studies with higher quality showed a trend towards high risk of brain tumour, while lower quality showed a trend towards lower risk/protection.

Pub.: 19 Feb '17, Pinned: 06 Nov '17

Use of mobile phones in Norway and risk of intracranial tumours.

Abstract: To test the hypothesis that exposure to radio-frequency electromagnetic fields from mobile phones increases the incidence of gliomas, meningiomas and acoustic neuromas in adults. The incident cases were of patients aged 19-69 years who were diagnosed during 2001-2002 in Southern Norway. Population controls were selected and frequency-matched for age, sex, and residential area. Detailed information about mobile phone use was collected from 289 glioma (response rate 77%), 207 meningioma patients (71%), and 45 acoustic neuroma patients (68%) and from 358 (69%) controls. For regular mobile phone use, defined as use on average at least once a week or more for at least 6 months, the odds ratio was 0.6 (95% confidence interval 0.4-0.9) for gliomas, 0.8 (95% confidence interval 0.5-1.1) for meningiomas and 0.5 (95% confidence interval 0.2-1.0) for acoustic neuromas. Similar results were found with mobile phone use for 6 years or more for gliomas and acoustic neuromas. An exception was meningiomas, where the odds ratio was 1.2 (95% confidence interval 0.6-2.2). Furthermore, no increasing trend was observed for gliomas or acoustic neuromas by increasing duration of regular use, the time since first regular use or cumulative use of mobile phones. The results from the present study indicate that use of mobile phones is not associated with an increased risk of gliomas, meningiomas or acoustic neuromas.

Pub.: 14 Feb '07, Pinned: 31 Oct '17

The effects of recall errors and of selection bias in epidemiologic studies of mobile phone use and cancer risk.

Abstract: This paper examines the effects of systematic and random errors in recall and of selection bias in case-control studies of mobile phone use and cancer. These sensitivity analyses are based on Monte-Carlo computer simulations and were carried out within the INTERPHONE Study, an international collaborative case-control study in 13 countries. Recall error scenarios simulated plausible values of random and systematic, non-differential and differential recall errors in amount of mobile phone use reported by study subjects. Plausible values for the recall error were obtained from validation studies. Selection bias scenarios assumed varying selection probabilities for cases and controls, mobile phone users, and non-users. Where possible these selection probabilities were based on existing information from non-respondents in INTERPHONE. Simulations used exposure distributions based on existing INTERPHONE data and assumed varying levels of the true risk of brain cancer related to mobile phone use. Results suggest that random recall errors of plausible levels can lead to a large underestimation in the risk of brain cancer associated with mobile phone use. Random errors were found to have larger impact than plausible systematic errors. Differential errors in recall had very little additional impact in the presence of large random errors. Selection bias resulting from underselection of unexposed controls led to J-shaped exposure-response patterns, with risk apparently decreasing at low to moderate exposure levels. The present results, in conjunction with those of the validation studies conducted within the INTERPHONE study, will play an important role in the interpretation of existing and future case-control studies of mobile phone use and cancer risk, including the INTERPHONE study.

Pub.: 15 Jun '06, Pinned: 02 May '17

Time trends (1998-2007) in brain cancer incidence rates in relation to mobile phone use in England.

Abstract: Mobile phone use in the United Kingdom and other countries has risen steeply since the early 1990's when the first digital mobile phones were introduced. There is an ongoing controversy about whether radio frequency (RF) exposure from mobile phones increases the risk of brain cancer. However, given the widespread use and nearly two decades elapsing since mobile phones were introduced, an association should have produced a noticeable increase in the incidence of brain cancer by now. Trends in rates of newly diagnosed brain cancer cases in England between 1998 and 2007 were examined. There were no time trends in overall incidence of brain cancers for either gender, or any specific age group. Systematic increases in rates for cancers of the temporal lobe in men (0.04 new cases/year) and women (0.02/year) were observed, along with decreases in the rates of cancers of the parietal lobe (-0.03/year), cerebrum (-0.02/year) and cerebellum (-0.01/year) in men only. The increased use of mobile phones between 1985 and 2003 has not led to a noticeable change in the incidence of brain cancer in England between 1998 and 2007. The observed increase in the rate of cancers in the temporal lobe, if caused by mobile phone use, would constitute <1 additional case per 100,000 people in that period. These data do not indicate a pressing need to implement a precautionary principle by means of population-wide interventions to reduce RF exposure from mobile phones.

Pub.: 01 Feb '11, Pinned: 02 May '17

Inferring the 1985-2014 impact of mobile phone use on selected brain cancer subtypes using Bayesian structural time series and synthetic controls.

Abstract: Mobile phone use has been increasing rapidly in the past decades and, in parallel, so has the annual incidence of certain types of brain cancers. However, it remains unclear whether this correlation is coincidental or whether use of mobile phones may cause the development, promotion or progression of specific cancers. The 1985-2014 incidence of selected brain cancer subtypes in England were analyzed and compared to counterfactual 'synthetic control' timeseries.Annual 1985-2014 incidence of malignant glioma, glioblastoma multiforme, and malignant neoplasms of the temporal and parietal lobes in England were modelled based on population-level covariates using Bayesian structural time series models assuming 5,10 and 15year minimal latency periods. Post-latency counterfactual 'synthetic England' timeseries were nowcast based on covariate trends. The impact of mobile phone use was inferred from differences between measured and modelled time series.There is no evidence of an increase in malignant glioma, glioblastoma multiforme, or malignant neoplasms of the parietal lobe not predicted in the 'synthetic England' time series. Malignant neoplasms of the temporal lobe however, have increased faster than expected. A latency period of 10years reflected the earliest latency period when this was measurable and related to mobile phone penetration rates, and indicated an additional increase of 35% (95% Credible Interval 9%:59%) during 2005-2014; corresponding to an additional 188 (95%CI 48-324) cases annually.A causal factor, of which mobile phone use (and possibly other wireless equipment) is in agreement with the hypothesized temporal association, is related to an increased risk of developing malignant neoplasms in the temporal lobe.

Pub.: 12 Nov '16, Pinned: 02 May '17

Mobile telephones and cancer--a review of epidemiological evidence.

Abstract: There is considerable public concern about possible long-term adverse health effects of mobile phones. While there is scientific controversy about long-term health effects of high-frequency electromagnetic fields lasting for at least 50 yr, the rise and success of mobile telecommunication made it necessary to investigate the problem more comprehensively and assess the possible risk cautiously because never before in history has a substantial proportion of the population been exposed to microwaves in the near field and at comparably high levels. Because the mostly localized exposure target region is the head, most epidemiological studies focus on brain tumors. Overall nine epidemiological studies have been published, four from the United States, two from Sweden, and one each from Denmark, Finland, and Germany. Seven studies were mainly on brain tumors, with one investigating in addition to brain tumors salivary gland cancer and another cancer of the hematopoietic and lymphatic tissues, and one examining intraocular melanoma. All studies have some methodological deficiencies: (1) too short duration of mobile phone use to be helpful in risk assessment, (2) exposure was not rigorously determined, and (3) there is a possibility of recall and response error in some studies. Nevertheless, all studies approaching reasonable latencies found an increased cancer risk associated with mobile phone use. Estimates of relative risk in these studies vary between 1.3 and 4.6 with highest overall risk for acoustic neuroma (3.5) and uveal melanoma (4.2), and there is evidence for enhanced cancer risk with increasing latency and duration of mobile phone use.

Pub.: 17 Sep '04, Pinned: 21 Sep '16

Electromagnetic fields at mobile phone frequency induce apoptosis and inactivation of the multi-chaperone complex in human epidermoid cancer cells.

Abstract: The exposure to non-thermal microwave electromagnetic field (MW-EMF) at 1.95 MHz, a frequency used in mobile communication, affects the refolding kinetics of eukaryotic proteins (Mancinelli et al., 2004). On these basis we have evaluated the in vivo effect of MW-EMF in human epidermoid cancer KB cells. We have found that MW-EMF induces time-dependent apoptosis (45% after 3 h) that is paralleled by an about 2.5-fold decrease of the expression of ras and Raf-1 and of the activity of ras and Erk-1/2. Although also the expression of Akt was reduced its activity was unchanged likely as a consequence of the increased expression of its upstream activator PI3K. In the same experimental conditions an about 2.5-fold increase of the ubiquitination of ras and Raf-1 was also found and the addition for 12 h of proteasome inhibitor lactacystin at 10 microM caused an accumulation of the ubiquitinated isoforms of ras and Raf-1 and counteracted the effects of MW-EMF on ras and Raf-1 expression suggesting an increased proteasome-dependent degradation induced by MW-EMF. The exposure of KB cells to MW-EMF induced a differential activation of stress-dependent pathway with an increase of JNK-1 activity and HSP70 and 27 expression and with a reduction of p38 kinase activity and HSP90 expression. The overexpression of HSP90 induced by transfection of KB cells with a plasmid encoding for the factor completely antagonized the apoptosis and the inactivation of the ras --> Erk-dependent survival signal induced by MW-EMF. Conversely, the inhibition of Erk activity induced by 12 h exposure to 10 mM Mek-1 inhibitor U0126 antagonized the effects induced by HSP90 transfection on apoptosis caused by MW-EMF. In conclusion, these results demonstrate for the first time that MW-EMF induces apoptosis through the inactivation of the ras --> Erk survival signaling due to enhanced degradation of ras and Raf-1 determined by decreased expression of HSP90 and the consequent increase of proteasome dependent degradation.

Pub.: 09 Mar '05, Pinned: 21 Sep '16

Mobile phones, mobile phone base stations and cancer: a review.

Abstract: There have been reports in the media and claims in the courts that radiofrequency (RF) emissions from mobile phones are a cause of cancer, and there have been numerous public objections to the siting of mobile phone base antennas because of a fear of cancer. This review summarizes the current state of evidence concerning whether the RF energy used for wireless communication might be carcinogenic. Relevant studies were identified by searching MedLine with a combination of exposure and endpoint terms. This was supplemented by a review of the over 1700 citations assembled by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) International Committee on Electromagnetic Safety as part of their updating of the IEEE C95.1 RF energy safety guidelines. Where there were multiple studies, preference was given to recent reports, to positive reports of effects and to attempts to confirm such positive reports. Biophysical considerations indicate that there is little theoretical basis for anticipating that RF energy would have significant biological effects at the power levels used by modern mobile phones and their base station antennas. The epidemiological evidence for a causal association between cancer and RF energy is weak and limited. Animal studies have provided no consistent evidence that exposure to RF energy at non-thermal intensities causes or promotes cancer. Extensive in vitro studies have found no consistent evidence of genotoxic potential, but in vitro studies assessing the epigenetic potential of RF energy are limited. Overall, a weight-of-evidence evaluation shows that the current evidence for a causal association between cancer and exposure to RF energy is weak and unconvincing. However, the existing epidemiology is limited and the possibility of epigenetic effects has not been thoroughly evaluated, so that additional research in those areas will be required for a more thorough assessment of the possibility of a causal connection between cancer and the RF energy from mobile telecommunications.

Pub.: 16 Jul '05, Pinned: 21 Sep '16

The controversy about a possible relationship between mobile phone use and cancer.

Abstract: During the last decade, mobile phone use increased to almost 100% prevalence in many countries of the world. Evidence for potential health hazards accumulated in parallel by epidemiologic investigations has raised controversies about the appropriate interpretation and the degree of bias and confounding responsible for reduced or increased risk estimates.Overall, I identified 33 epidemiologic studies in the peer-reviewed literature, most of which (25) were about brain tumors. Two groups have collected data for >or=10 years of mobile phone use: Hardell and colleagues from Sweden and the Interphone group, an international consortium from 13 countries coordinated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.Combined odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) from these studies for glioma, acoustic neuroma, and meningioma were 1.5 (1.2-1.8); 1.3 (0.95-1.9); and 1.1 (0.8-1.4), respectively.Methodologic considerations revealed that three important conditions for epidemiologic studies to detect an increased risk are not met: a ) no evidence-based exposure metric is available; b) the observed duration of mobile phone use is generally still too low; c) no evidence-based selection of end points among the grossly different types of neoplasias is possible because of lack of etiologic hypotheses. Concerning risk estimates, selection bias, misclassification bias, and effects of the disease on mobile phone use could have reduced estimates, and recall bias may have led to spuriously increased risks. The overall evidence speaks in favor of an increased risk, but its magnitude cannot be assessed at present because of insufficient information on long-term use.

Pub.: 02 Apr '09, Pinned: 21 Sep '16

Microwaves from Mobile Phones Inhibit 53BP1 Focus Formation in Human Stem Cells More Strongly Than in Differentiated Cells: Possible Mechanistic Link to Cancer Risk.

Abstract: It is widely accepted that DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) and their misrepair in stem cells are critical events in the multistage origination of various leukemias and tumors, including gliomas.We studied whether microwaves from mobile telephones of the Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) and the Universal Global Telecommunications System (UMTS) induce DSBs or affect DSB repair in stem cells.We analyzed tumor suppressor TP53 binding protein 1 (53BP1) foci that are typically formed at the sites of DSB location (referred to as DNA repair foci) by laser confocal microscopy.Microwaves from mobile phones inhibited formation of 53BP1 foci in human primary fibroblasts and mesenchymal stem cells. These data parallel our previous findings for human lymphocytes. Importantly, the same GSM carrier frequency (915 MHz) and UMTS frequency band (1947.4 MHz) were effective for all cell types. Exposure at 905 MHz did not inhibit 53BP1 foci in differentiated cells, either fibroblasts or lymphocytes, whereas some effects were seen in stem cells at 905 MHz. Contrary to fibroblasts, stem cells did not adapt to chronic exposure during 2 weeks.The strongest microwave effects were always observed in stem cells. This result may suggest both significant misbalance in DSB repair and severe stress response. Our findings that stem cells are most sensitive to microwave exposure and react to more frequencies than do differentiated cells may be important for cancer risk assessment and indicate that stem cells are the most relevant cellular model for validating safe mobile communication signals.

Pub.: 13 Jan '10, Pinned: 21 Sep '16

Mobile phone use and the risk of skin cancer: a nationwide cohort study in Denmark.

Abstract: The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified radiofrequency radiation as possibly carcinogenic. Previous studies have focused on intracranial tumors, although the skin receives much radiation. In a nationwide cohort study, 355,701 private mobile phone subscribers in Denmark from 1987 to 1995 were followed up through 2007. We calculated incidence rate ratios (IRRs) for melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma by using Poisson regression models adjusted for age, calendar period, educational level, and income. Separate IRRs for head/neck tumors and torso/leg tumors were compared (IRR ratios) to further address potential confounders. We observed no overall increased risk for basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, or melanoma of the head and neck. After a follow-up period of at least 13 years, the IRRs for basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma remained near unity. Among men, the IRR for melanoma of the head and neck was 1.20 (95% confidence interval: 0.65, 2.22) after a minimum 13-year follow-up, whereas the corresponding IRR for the torso and legs was 1.16 (95% confidence interval: 0.91, 1.47), yielding an IRR ratio of 1.04 (95% confidence interval: 0.54, 2.00). A similar risk pattern was seen among women, though it was based on smaller numbers. In this large, population-based cohort study, little evidence of an increased skin cancer risk was observed among mobile phone users.

Pub.: 22 Jun '13, Pinned: 21 Sep '16