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Disease Outbreak News

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Study: cell phone users at higher risk of brain tumor

BEIJING, Oct. 14 (Xinhuanet) --
Cell phone users might take more risks to come down with brain tumors, according to media reports Wednesday quoting latest research from U.S.

In earlier research, scientists did find a weak link between cell phone and brain tumors, whereas there was no clear indication of what risk the cell phone users were taking.

"We cannot make any definitive conclusions about this," said Dr. Deepa Subramaniam, director of the Brain Tumor Center at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, D.C.

"But this study, in addition to all the previous studies, continues to leave lingering doubt as to the potential for increased risk. So, one more time, after all these years, we don't have a clear-cut answer."

However, Joel Moskowitz, the study's senior author, said that "clearly there is risk." He's director of the Center for Family and Community Health at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health.

"I would not allow children to use a cell phone, or I at least would require them to use a separate headset," Moskowitz said.

"It seems fairly derelict of us as a society or as a planet to just disseminate this technology to the extent that we have without doing a whole lot more research of the potential harms and how to protect against those harms. Clearly, we need to learn a whole lot more about this technology."

Researchers found that using a mobile phone for a decade or longer resulted in an 18 percent increased risk of brain tumor likely to appear on the side where the phone was used, Moskowitz said.

Moskowitz however believed that there's also potential harm to other areas of the body -- the genitals, for example -- when the phone is carried in a pocket.

With so many people worldwide using cell phones, even a small risk could translate into many illnesses and deaths, he stressed.

"We need to do a whole lot more research because the stakes are really high and there seems to be suggestive evidence that you better be careful about this, especially in children, who have developing tissue and smaller brain and skull sizes," Moskowitz warned.

Last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration appealed for more research into the risks posed by long-term cell phone use, rather than the more commonly studied short-term risks. It urged that such research focuses on the health of children, pregnant women and fetuses as well
as workers subject to high occupational exposure.
Source :

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