updated 01:10 pm EDT, Mon July 4, 2011
Journal says cellphones not likely creating cancer
The scientific journal Environmental Health Perspectives has published a reexamination of medical studies that has cast doubt on claims that cellphones cause cancer. Partly contradicting a WHO study from May that raised the possibility of a health risk, the study argued that the proof was "increasingly against" a link between frequent cellphone use and brain tumors. The WHO's report was simply trying to classify what kind of risk might exist and not the actual likelihood of an illness, EHP said.
Among the issues the countering paper had were with the reliability of the results. The WHO study covered 13,000 phone owners but asked them to remember phone use from years ago, where the details could be misremembered. Other studies haven't seen the link, the authors said.
Concerns have existed of bias whenever a study emerges that downplays the health risks from phones. One group challenged the well-known Interphone study and went so far as to accuse its creators of having a financial incentive from the phone industry to minimize any risks. The Interphone team has denied the claims, although there are gaps in the record that haven't been fully explained.
Pro-industry organizations like the CTIA have a record of trying to minimize any perceived risk and got a San Francisco bill frozen that would have put SAR warnings near phones at sale to help more worried buyers pick a lower-radiation phone. Critics, including outside of the CTIA, have noted that the SAR levels don't necessarily indicate the actual threat and are going on assumptions about harm that still haven't been definitively proven.