Far- fetched study

Numerous studies have reported no significant relationship between mobile phone use and health. Still there are scientists who believe that the use of mobile phone can cause brain tumor.

According to Dr Jack Rowley, director of research for the GSM Association, Dr Vini G Khurana's study represents a "very selective review of existing literature", rather than an original study.

Khurana, a neurosurgeon based in Australia, recently completed a 15-month study that he posted on his website, brain-surgery.us. Entitled Mobile Phone-Brain Tumour: Public Health Advisory, the study is a meta-analysis of more than 100 other studies.

Khurana said in his study: "There is a growing and statistically significant body of evidence reporting that brain tumours, such as vestibular schwannoma (acoustic neuroma) and astrocytoma, are associated with 'heavy' and 'prolonged' mobile-phone use, particularly on the same side as the 'preferred ear' for telephony." He added: "It is anticipated that this danger has far broader public-health ramifications than asbestos and smoking, and directly concerns all of us, particularly the younger generation, including very young children."

However, Rowley told silicon.com sister site ZDNet.co.uk that Khurana's study had failed to mention some studies that had sought -- but failed -- to establish a connection between mobile-phone usage and brain tumours.

Rowley said: "If you look at the data from the animal studies it mentions in his paper, he refers to an Australian study in 1999 but doesn't mention two failed confirmation studies." Rowley added: "He also fails to mention many of the other long-term animal studies, which found no overall increased cancer risk," referring to research that had been carried out with funding by the GSMA and the European Commission.

In September 2007, a study by the UK's Health Protection Agency found no evidence of short-term health damage as a result of mobile-phone use. However, it is the longer-term effects that have been most controversial.

Rowley, however, said the Interphone studies conducted up until now have shown "no evidence for risk up to 10 years of use", and claimed that, beyond 10 years, they were "too uncertain statistically to make any conclusion at all".

Since the introduction of mobile phones, concerns have been raised about the potential health impacts from regular use. As mobile phone penetrations grew past fixed landline penetration levels in 1998 in Finland and from 1999 in Sweden, Denmark and Norway, the Scandinavian health authorities have run continuous long term studies of effects of mobile phone radiation effects to humans, and in particular children.

Studies from the Institute of Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute and researchers at the Danish Institute of Cancer Epidemiology in Copenhagen for example showed no link between mobile phone use and cancer. The Danish study only covered analog mobile phone usage up through 1995, and subjects who started mobile phone usage after 1995 were counted as non-users in the study. The health concerns have grown as mobile phone penetration rates throughout Europe reached 80%–90% levels earlier in this decade and prolonged exposure studies have been carried out in almost all European countries again most reporting no effect, and the most alarming studies only reporting a possible effect.

However, a study by the International Agency for Research on Cancer of 4,500 users found a borderline statistically significant link between tumor frequency on the same side of the head as the mobile phone was used on and mobile phone usage.

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