Mobiles Linked To Eye Cancer
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by JAMES CHAPMAN, Daily Mail
Mobile phones have been linked to a rare form of eye cancer.
A German study suggests that regular use of cellphones could
lead to an increased risk of contracting uveal melanoma, in
which tumours form in the layer that makes up the iris and
base of the retina.
The cancer affects just a few in every 100,000 people but
the study comes on top of many other conflicting claims
about the dangers of mobile phones.
A report commissioned by the British Government last year
said that, despite the widespread fears, no conclusive links
with cancer had been proven.
Conversely, because there was also no proof that the phones
were safe, it recommended that use by children, at least,
should be limited.
The German study, to be published this month in the journal
Epidemiology, follows research among 118 patients with the
Dr Andreas Stang of the University of Essen, who led the
team, cautioned that it needed confirmation.
The researchers were unable to measure how much radiation
the study volunteers had been exposed to, limiting the
significance that could be placed on the findings.
Critics claimed this meant the data was fundamentally
flawed. Neverthless, it will still cause concern within the
mobile phone industry which is currently facing
multi-billion dollar lawsuits from customers in the U.S. who
claim they have contracted brain tumours.
However, a new American study has found no evidence that the
phones can trigger such tumours.
Experts who questioned almost 500 people with brain cancers
discovered they had not used mobiles any more frequently
than a similar number who had remained healthy.
But they admitted the study could not answer the question of
whether there is any risk from long-term use.
The scientists said further research was required as they
were looking at people who has mostly used mobile phones for
a relatively short period of time - two to three years.
Dr Joshua Muscat, an epidemiologist at the American Health
Foundation, who led the study, said: 'The data showed no
correlation between the use of cellphones and the
development of brain cancer. In addition, there was no
association between the amount of cellphone usage and brain
New Department of Health leaflets advise potential phone
buyers to consider the SAR rate - the rate at which
radiation is absorbed into the body - when making their
Children under 16 should be 'strongly' discouraged from
using mobiles for non-essential calls and everyone should
keep calls as short as possible.
Youngsters are thought to be particularly at risk from any
potential health hazards because they have thinner skulls
and their immune system is still developing.
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