Scientific consensus contradicts Swedish paper

The Swedish research by Lennart Hardell on mobile phone use and brain tumour risk in urban and rural areas contradicts the expert judgment of public health authorities, such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), that there is no credible scientific evidence of health effects from using a mobile phone or living and working near a mobile phone base station.

“Potential human health impacts of radio frequency energy have been studied in great detail over the past 50 years and comprehensive reviews of over 2200 research publications, including 410 studies specifically on mobile phones continue to find there is no substantiated scientific evidence of health effects,” said Graham Chalker, CEO, Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA).

“The Hardell paper is inconsistent with the results published as part of the INTERPHONE Study[i], using a WHO designed method, including a study in Sweden, which has found no increased brain tumour risk.

“The INTERPHONE meta-analysis of all 13 countries is expected to be complete by the end of the year. Once completed, it is expected that the INTERPHONE project and its individual national studies will have examined about 6000 cases of gliomas and meningiomas (both benign and malignant), 1000 cases of acoustic neurinoma, 600 cases of parotid gland tumours and their respective controls. As such, it is important to await this outcome.

“None of the many national and international agencies monitoring the issue, including the WHO, have asserted that mobile phones pose a health risk.

“Hardell’s main results are based on very small numbers and, as the authors point out, should be treated with caution until further, large-scale studies are completed.

“Mobile phones and their base-stations are designed, built and tested to comply with strict science based guidelines which are recognised by national and international health agencies around the world as providing ample protection for all users. No matter how far you are from a base station, in the country or the city, all mobile phones are designed to operate well below the safety limits.

“However, the industry acknowledges that some people are genuinely concerned and we are committed to addressing these concerns responsibly through continued support for independent research,” added Mr Chalker.

AMTA supports further research, in accordance with the WHO’s research program, to advance the science in relation to mobile phones and health and so that there is accurate information to assist people to make informed choices in relation to mobile technology and health.

[i] The INTERPHONE (INTERnational case control studies of cancer in relation to mobile telePHONE use) is study coordinated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon, France http://www.iarc.fr/ENG/Units/RCAd.html