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PRESS RELEASE: Environmental Health Trust Questions New Study Claiming No Cell Phone-Brain Cancer Link Among Children and Adolescents

Apr 18, 2012


JACKSON, WY — July 27, 2011 – A study published July 27 in the Journal of The National Cancer Institute concludes that children and adolescents who use cell phones are not at an increased risk of brain cancer compared to their peers who do not use cell phones. Between 2004 and 2008, Martin Roosli, PhD, of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute in Basel, Switzerland, and colleagues studied 352 European brain cancer patients and 646 control subjects between the ages of 7 and 19 and reported that children with brain tumors were not more likely to have been regular cell phone users than control subjects.

Devra Davis, PhD, MPH, President of Environmental Health Trust, commented: “This new JNCI report represents an astonishing, disturbing and unwarranted conclusion. Of course, the researchers found no link between children’s brain tumors and their reported cell phone use. Brain tumors can take ten years to form and young children certainly have not been heavy cellphone users for very long. There has been a quadrupling of cell phone use in the past few years that this study could not possibly capture.”

Dr. Davis continued, “Interestingly, the researchers advocate, as we do, taking simple precautions including the use of a headset and speakerphone. But to conclude—as an editorial written by industry-associated scientists accompanying the article does—that that children face no risks from cellphones, does a profound disservice to the public. If you asked whether people who had smoked only four years had an increased lung cancer risk, you would come up empty-handed. Given the restricted time-frame of the JNCI study, the absence of brain tumor risk from cell phones in children and adolescents is precisely what is expected.”

“In fact, the JNCI researchers downplay their own finding that children who owned phones the longest had an increased risk of brain cancer. In addition, other studies indicate that children face a number of serious health risks from cellphones, including learning problems, autism, behavioral impacts, insomnia, attention disorders and a broad array of disturbances to the developing nervous system.”