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    Mobile phone use and cancer linked

    Mobile phone use and cancer linked

    By Nic Fleming, Science Correspondent
    Last Updated: 2:55am BST 31/08/2007

    Have your say Read comments

    Fresh fears over the health hazards linked to using mobile phones have been raised after scientists found that handset radiation could trigger cell division.

    Have your say: Are you worried about the safety of mobiles?
    Mobile phone radiation could trigger cell division

    A study found that exposure to mobile phone signals for just five minutes stimulated human cells to split in two - a process that occurs naturally when tissue grows or rejuvenates, but that is also central to the development of cancer.
    Previous research on the safety of mobile use has led to conflicting conclusions, with some suggesting links with tumours in the nervous system and others finding no risks.
    The six-year Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Programme, which provided £8.4 million of Government and industry funding for 25 studies, is expected to present its final report next month.
    Official guidance that mobile phones were safe was based on the mainstream scientific assumption that electromagnetic radiation from such devices could damage cells and tissue only by heating them.

    But the new research, reported in this week's New Scientist, supports the position of those researchers who argue that handsets can trigger potentially harmful changes to cells irrespective of temperature changes.
    Prof Rony Seger, a cancer researcher at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, and colleagues exposed rat and human cells to electromagnetic radiation at a similar frequency to that emitted by mobiles but at only about one tenth of the power.
    After just five minutes the researchers identified the production of extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK1/2) - natural chemicals that stimulate cell division and growth.
    Cancers develop when the body is unable to prevent excessive growth and division of cells in the wrong place.
    Prof Seger said yesterday: "The real significance of our findings is that cells are not inert to non-thermal mobile phone radiation.
    "We used radiation power levels that were around one tenth of those produced by a normal mobile. The changes we observed were clearly not caused by heating."
    The UK has adopted international safety standards for electromagnetic radiation. These state that the amount of energy absorbed from an electric field or radio wave cannot exceed two watts per kilogram (W/kg) when averaged over 10 grams of tissue. Almost all mobile phones emit less that than one W/kg.

    We have had cell phones for quite awhile already. You would figure if the threat is severe, the evidence would be out there...meaning more people getting brain tumors and cancer. Has that been the case? I do believe excess radiation can cause damage...but where is the beef?
    "So I have stayed as I am, without regret, seperated from the normal human condition." Guy Sajer


      Originally posted by Mike C
      We have had cell phones for quite awhile already. You would figure if the threat is severe, the evidence would be out there...meaning more people getting brain tumors and cancer. Has that been the case? I do believe excess radiation can cause damage...but where is the beef?
      Here is your beef, hunry

      Mobile phones 'more dangerous than smoking'

      Brain expert warns of huge rise in tumours and calls on industry to take immediate steps to reduce radiation
      By Geoffrey Lean
      Sunday, 30 March 2008

      Mobile phones could kill far more people than smoking or asbestos, a study by an award-winning cancer expert has concluded. He says people should avoid using them wherever possible and that governments and the mobile phone industry must take "immediate steps" to reduce exposure to their radiation.

      The study, by Dr Vini Khurana, is the most devastating indictment yet published of the health risks.
      It draws on growing evidence – exclusively reported in the IoS in October – that using handsets for 10 years or more can double the risk of brain cancer. Cancers take at least a decade to develop, invalidating official safety assurances based on earlier studies which included few, if any, people who had used the phones for that long.
      Earlier this year, the French government warned against the use of mobile phones, especially by children. Germany also advises its people to minimise handset use, and the European Environment Agency has called for exposures to be reduced.
      Professor Khurana – a top neurosurgeon who has received 14 awards over the past 16 years, has published more than three dozen scientific papers – reviewed more than 100 studies on the effects of mobile phones. He has put the results on a brain surgery website, and a paper based on the research is currently being peer-reviewed for publication in a scientific journal.
      He admits that mobiles can save lives in emergencies, but concludes that "there is a significant and increasing body of evidence for a link between mobile phone usage and certain brain tumours". He believes this will be "definitively proven" in the next decade.
      Noting that malignant brain tumours represent "a life-ending diagnosis", he adds: "We are currently experiencing a reactively unchecked and dangerous situation." He fears that "unless the industry and governments take immediate and decisive steps", the incidence of malignant brain tumours and associated death rate will be observed to rise globally within a decade from now, by which time it may be far too late to intervene medically.