International Health Authorities do not link mobiles with Brain Cancer

The mobile phone industry relies on expert advice from national and international health agencies on mobile phone safety.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and other health agencies conduct ongoing reviews into mobile phones and health and consider all of the available scientific research, including research into links with brain cancer.

The current WHO factsheet on electromagnetic fields and health says:

“A large number of studies have been performed over the last two decades to assess whether mobile phones pose a potential health risk. To date, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use.”

The EU’s Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) latest opinion published in January 2015 concluded:

Overall, the epidemiological studies on mobile phone RF EMF exposure do not show an increased risk of brain tumours. Furthermore, they do not indicate an increased risk for other cancers of the head and neck region. Some studies raised questions regarding an increased risk of glioma and acoustic neuroma in heavy users of mobile phones. The results of cohort and incidence time trend studies do not support an increased risk for glioma while the possibility of an association with acoustic neuroma remains open. Epidemiological studies do not indicate increased risk for other malignant diseases, including childhood cancer.

With respect to brain cancer risks, the 2014 World Cancer report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the WHO, says:

No consistent association has been found between use of mobile (cell) phones and brain tumours.

IARC also said possible links are not supported by evidence of an increase in the number of brain cancer cases during the rapid increase in mobile phone use globally.

Time trends in glioma incidence based on Nordic countries and the USA exclude any large increase in incidence attributable to mobile phone use, albeit with reference to a relatively short time from initiation of exposure. No association was observed between mobile phone use and other cancers.

No one should have to endure the misfortune that has befallen Dr Tickell and his family and while the desire to identify a cause of his brain tumour is understandable, the advice from independent health authorities is that there is no accepted scientific basis to equate it to the use of mobile phones.

In fact, Cancer Council NSW CEO Dr Andrew Penman has issued a statement saying Australians should not unnecessarily panic about mobile phones causing brain cancer because numerous studies around the world have failed to identify an increase in the disease due to mobile use:

“Mobile phones have been widely used in Australia for nearly 20 years now. Contrary to concerns about mobile phones, we have seen absolutely no associated increase in brain cancer cases in Australia or overseas.”

“Users should therefore not unduly worry that their device will give them brain cancer.”

“More research is desperately needed to find out what actually does cause brain cancer and how treatments can be improved.”

Also, the safety standard for radio frequency emissions is set by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) and ongoing compliance with the safety standard is regulated by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).  They have recently launched a joint information hub for consumers with concerns about mobile technologies:

AMTA agrees with leading health authorities who recommend if people are concerned they can easily reduce their exposure to mobile phone signals by limiting the length of calls, or using 'hands-free' devices