Mobile Use may Increase Kids' Brain Cancer Risk Fivefold

by Rajashri on Sep 22 2008 3:38 PM

New research indicated that kids and teenagers are at an increased risk of developing brain cancer if they use mobile phones.

The study, conducted by researchers at the University Hospital in Orebro, found that kids are five times more likely to get brain cancer due to mobile use.

According to health experts, the research raises fears that today's young people may suffer an "epidemic" of the disease in later life.

The study, which was headed by Professor Lennart Hardell of the University Hospital in Orebro, Sweden, has been presented at the Royal Society by the Radiation Research Trust.

The researcher said that "people who started mobile phone use before the age of 20" had more than five-fold increase in glioma", a cancer of the glial cells that support the central nervous system.

The extra risk to young people of contracting the disease from using the cordless phone found in many homes was almost as great, at more than four times higher, reports the Independent.

Those who started using mobiles young, he added, were also five times more likely to get acoustic neuromas, benign but often disabling tumours of the auditory nerve, which usually cause deafness.

By contrast, people who were in their twenties before using handsets were only 50 per cent more likely to contract gliomas and just twice as likely to get acoustic neuromas.

Professor Hardell told the IoS: "This is a warning sign. It is very worrying. We should be taking precautions."

The research has shown that adults who have used the handsets for more than 10 years are much more likely to get gliomas and acoustic neuromas, but he said that there was not enough data to show how such relatively long-term use would increase the risk for those who had started young.