Long-Term Exposure To Cell Phone Radiation Increases Risk Of Brain Cancer, New Study Says

JohnThomas Didymus

A new study appears to support long-held suspicions that prolonged use of cell phones, especially when placed against the ears, could increase the risk of cancer, specifically, certain types of brain cancer.

The new study titled, "Oxidative mechanisms of biological activity of low-intensity radiofrequency radiation (LIRF)," by Igor Yakymenko and colleagues at the Institute of Experimental Pathology, Oncology, and Radiobiology in Kiev, is a meta-study.

A meta-study is an analysis of hundreds of previous studies on the same subject using statistical methods than can reveal patterns across studies not revealed in single studies or smaller samples of studies.

Commenting on the results of the study in the light of previous studies that raised suspicions of a link between certain types of brain tumors and cell phone use, Yakymenko said, "These data are a clear sign of the real risks this kind of radiation (LIRF) poses for human health."

The study concluded that damage caused by cell phone radiation to human DNA over long periods increases the risk of suffering not only headaches, fatigues and skin disorders, but also cancer.

According to the researchers, available data indicates that use of a cell phone for 20 minutes a day for up to five years increased the risk of certain types of brain tumor threefold. Using a cell phone for an hour a day for up to four years increased the risk of brain tumors three to five times.

But according to Yakymenko, the stated risk levels still translate into a very low incidence of brain cancers among Americans. The overall risk of brain and related cancers (due to cell phone use and other causes) among U.S. adults was estimated in 2012 at about 6.4 cases per 100,000 adults in the U.S.

Although, the WHO classifies cell phone radiation as potentially carcinogenic, the current consensus among experts -- despite the latest results by Yakymenko and colleagues -- is that the risk of having cancer due to use of cell phone radiation is very small.

Although a recent large study found no clear evidence of link between cell phone use and cancer, a small group of heavy cell phone users showed a significanly higher incidence of brain tumors than the rest, suggesting, in concurrence with the new study, that heavy use of cell phones over a long period of time could increase cancer risk.

Despite figures showing that the overall incidence of brain cancers have not increased significantly since the introduction of cell phones, Yakymenko warned cell phone users to be wary of the possibility that data spanning longer periods -- such as three decades – could show higher levels of risk.

"(Our) data were obtained on adults who used cell phones mostly up to 10 years as adults. The situation can dramatically differ for children who use cells phone in childhood, when their biology much more sensitive to hazardous factors, and will use it over the life."

[Image: Getty]