Brain tumour controversy

EMR Australia - Thursday, March 10, 2011

Why is it that the Interphone and Orebro University studies on mobile phones and brain tumours have found different results?

In a new paper, Dr Lennart Hardell from Orebro University in Sweden explains that the findings are not so different after all.

Hardell’s team has conducted a reanalysis of the data in their previous research, applying the criteria used by the Interphone project. To do this they:

  • only considered tumour patients aged 30 to 59
  • they disregarded subjects’ cordless phone use and
  • they considered ‘high’ exposure to be 1640 hours or more (ie 30 mins a day over 10 years).

Considered in this way, the data showed that the most exposed mobile phone users had 1.75 times the risk of gliomas—similar to the Interphone results which showed 1.4 times the risk of tumours.

Looked at in another way, the analysis shows that the Interphone results probably underestimate the risk of brain tumours by not including a wider age spread, disregarding cordless phone use and classifying 1640 hours as ‘high’ use.

(Hardell, L et al, Int J Epidemiol, Dec 2010.)

from 'EMR and Health' Mar 2011, vol 7 no 1

About The Author - Lyn McLean is a consumer advocate, author and educator and has been monitoring and writing on the subject of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) for over 20 years. She is the director of EMR Australia.

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