No evidence to link mobile phones to increased cancer risk

Findings from the biggest review of research into mobile phones and the increased risk of cancer say there's no evidence of a clear link.

"Shut it, you're using up all the minutes on my talk-til-you-get-head-cancer tariff," barked Downing Street press officer Malcolm Tucker down his mobile at a lackey in The Thick of It. Thankfully for psychotic spin doctors everywhere, and the rest of us phone freaks, a major clinical review has found no evidence to clearly link mobiles to cancer.

The biggest round-up yet of published research into the matter has resulted in findings which state public health is not at risk from radio waves emanating from phones.

You can breathe easy for now if you spend the day with your handset glued to your cheek -- so long, that is, as you've been using mobiles for less than 15 years. There's too little evidence to assess the risk beyond that at the moment, The Guardian writes.

The Health Protection Agency's report -- its first major review since 2003 -- said it was crucial to continue monitoring for signs of increasing numbers of brain tumours, but that there was currently no indication of a higher risk, based on the results of scores of studies.

Professor Anthony Swerdlow, chairman of the advisory group which authored the report, said: "There are still limitations to the published research that preclude a definitive judgement, but the evidence overall has not demonstrated any adverse effects on human health from exposure to radio frequency fields below internationally accepted guideline levels."

Last July, Swerdlow's group had indicated that the accumulating evidence was pointing away from a hypothesis that mobile phone use could cause brain tumours.

This followed conflicting opinion from a scientific panel reporting into the World Health Organisation that radio frequency electromagnetic fields, as given off by mobile phones, were "possibly carcinogenic to humans".

Apart from keeping cancer-stalking The Daily Mail journalists in a job, will this report provide any respite to those of you worried that your phone might be making you ill? Given the inconclusive long-term view, and the unlikelihood that you'll be binning your blower any time soon, do reports like this put you at ease? Hurl your Tucker-esque rant in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

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