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Epidemiological Studies of Cellular Telephone Use and Risk of Cancer

  • Minouk J. Schoemaker
  • Anthony J. Swerdlow
Chapter
Part of the Advances in Electromagnetic Fields in Living Systems book series (AEFL, volume 5)

Abstract

The increasing worldwide use of cellular telephones has generated public concern about exposure to radiofrequency fields as a potential risk factor for cancer. Over the last decade, there has been substantial effort to investigate the potential health effects of cellular phone use, and this chapter examines the evidence about the relation to cancer risks obtained from epidemiological studies. Most studies have focused on brain tumors and other intracranial tumors, with a few studies having investigated other neoplasms such as parotid gland and ocular tumors. Nearly all have been case–control studies, the main exception being a large Danish cohort study based on record linkage of network operator and cancer registry data. Methodological strengths and weaknesses of individual studies are discussed, and the overall evidence is evaluated in terms of consistency between studies, timing and magnitude of associations observed, and dose–response associations. It is concluded that the epidemiological studies reviewed show, on balance, no convincing or consistent evidence for a raised risk of cancer in relation to cellular phone use. The overall evidence suggests that it is unlikely that there are large increases of risk in relation to cellular phone use in the lag period for which there are substantial data. Past studies have had limitations, however, in particular that exposure assessment has been crude, data on risk after lag periods of 10 years or more, prolonged use, high intensities of use and childhood exposures, are still limited, and the possibility of risk in relation to these remains open.

Keywords

Testicular Cancer Uveal Melanoma Standardize Incidence Ratio Cellular Phone Acoustic Neuroma 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgment.

The authors thank the reviewers for their helpful comments with regard to this chapter.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Section of EpidemiologyInstitute of Cancer ResearchSuttonUK

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