Scientists at Oxford University have refuted a popular misconception that the use of cell phones and smartphones increases the risk of brain tumors.
The results of a new study are reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
About 776,000 people took part in the study and filled out questionnaires about their cell phone use in 2001; about half of them were re-interviewed in 2011. Participants were followed for an average of 14 years.
By 2011, nearly 75% of women aged 60 to 64 had used a cell phone, and just under 50% of women aged 75 to 79. During the 14-year follow-up period, 3,268 (0.42%) women developed a brain tumor – glioma (tumor of the nervous system), acoustic neuroma (tumor of the nerve connecting the brain and inner ear), meningioma (tumor of the shell surrounding the brain), or pituitary tumor.
No significant difference in the risk of developing a brain tumor has been found between those who have never used a cell phone and those who use these devices. This included tumors in the temporal and parietal lobes, which are the most vulnerable parts of the brain. There was also no difference in the risk of developing glioma, acoustic neurinoma, meningioma, pituitary tumors, or eye tumors.