A 29-Year-Long Study Shows Cell Phones Don’t Cause Cancer

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter
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A new study busts the infamous myth that cell phones cause brain cancer, giving millions of Americans one less carcinogen to worry about on a daily basis.

The study, published online Monday in the medical journal Cancer Epidemiology, examined the association between cell phone use and cancer among a group of 19,858 men and 14,222 women diagnosed with brain cancer in Australia between 1982-2012. The study’s abstract states that it “found no increase in brain cancer incidence compatible with the steep increase in mobile phone use.”

The scientists “compared the actual incidence of brain cancer over this time with the numbers of new cases of brain cancer that would be expected if the ‘mobile phones cause brain cancer’ hypothesis was true,” Simon Chapman, the study’s lead author and a professor at the University of Sydney, wrote in IFL Science. “[W]e are seeing no rise in the incidence of brain cancer against the background rate.”

The only statistically significant link found by the study was in found in people who were older than 70, but that increase began in 1982 before cell phones, so it could not be explained by them. The most likely explanation of the rise in brain cancer in this older age group was improved diagnosis.

The research was specifically targeted to debunk claims that radiation from cell phones causes brain cancer

Recent studies have shown that the radiation risk in general have been massively overestimated for a long period of time. Predictions of thousands of cancer deaths from radiation incidents like Chernobyl or Fukushima have consistently failed to be borne out.

Previous science and existing regulations are premised on the belief that any dose of radiation, no matter how small, causes some harm. These regulations have no “scientifically valid support,” wrote Dr. Carol S. Marcus, a professor of nuclear medicine at UCLA, in a statement to The Wall Street Journal last December. Other scientists have shown that radiation is far less dangerous than current regulations assume.

Some studies have even shown that small doses of radiation actually modestly reduce cancer risks. A study of radon gas by a Johns Hopkins scientist suggested that people living with higher concentrations of the radioactive gas actually have lower rates of lung cancer than the general population.

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