The team examined the results of 15 studies from health researchers in six different countries, and reported their findings in the journal Pathophysiology. The scientists also called on nations worldwide to adopt tougher safety standards for mobile phone use and to issue warnings about the potential danger of cell phone radiation, particularly for children.
Dr. Lennart Hardell, an oncologist from University Hospital in Sweden, found that after one or more years of cell phone use, the risk of brain cancer in people who begin using mobile phones before they turn 20 is 5.2 times greater than for the general population. For people who begin using mobile phones later in life, the risk of a malignant brain tumor is 1.4 times greater.
"What stands out is the consistency of the association of exposure and disease,” said Dr. David Carpenter, director of the Institute for Health & the Environment at the University at Albany and a co-author of the report. “The evidence, as I see it, is sufficiently strong that there needs to be public warnings, there needs to be establishments of exposure guidelines and that the present guidelines — in Canada, the United States or anywhere else — are not protective of human health.
"I see us facing a major problem in the future because of the fact that young children are on cell phones constantly, and we may be setting ourselves up for an epidemic of brain cancer, the same thing we did with cigarette smoking and lung cancer."
The official position of most government agencies charged with monitoring the public health risks of cell phone radiation—and certainly the stance of the wireless phone industry—is that there is not sufficient scientific evidence to determine that cell phones pose a risk to human health. Yet, scientists continue to study the issue and their findings continue to raise questions.
These new findings, which indicate a much higher potential risk of brain cancer for children who use cell phones, should at least serve as a caution for parents.
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