The Interphone study is the largest analysis to date on the relationship between cancer and mobile phone use. It was started in 2000, coordinated by the International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC). The latest results of the study were published in the International Journal of Epidemiology this month. The conclusion in the article was that overall “no increase in risk of glioma or meningioma was observed with use of mobile phones”.
Yet the report has many detractors. Some point to concerns over the sampling and methodology. Others suggest the spin given to the findings is influenced by the research funding, which includes the Mobile Manufacturers Forum and the GSM Association, who clearly have a vested interest in not finding anything too alarming.
Even the commentary from the AIRC points out that there are “suggestions of an increased risk of glioma at the highest exposure levels” and that “the possible effects of long-term heavy use of mobile phones require further investigation”.
Joel Moskowitz is the Director of the Center for Family and Community Health of the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley. He is one of those people arguing that the Interphone study is flawed. He also raises the question as to whether we need evidence beyond any doubt before we start to take steps to protect ourselves from the potential harmful effects of mobile phone use?
Hear Joel on today’s BTalk. While you listen, here’s something to consider. The top decile of users, who the Interphone study shows might be at risk, use a phone for about half an hour a day. Is that you? What steps have you taken to protect yourself?
Here’s a piece from Joel in the San Francisco Chronicle.