May 17, 2005

Use of Cellular Telephones and Brain Tumour Risk in Urban and Rural Areas

L. Hardell, M. Carlberg, and K. Hansson Mild, in Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Volume 62, pp.390-394, 2005

Hardell's newest publication “Use of Cellular Telephones and Brain Tumour Risk in Urban and Rural Areas” tested the hypothesis of an association between the use of cellular or cordless telephones and the risk for brain tumours in different geographical areas, urban and rural. Living in rural areas yielded an odds ratio (OR) of 1.4 (95% CI 0.98 to 2.0), increasing to 3.2 (95% CI 1.2 to 8.4) with >5 year latency time for digital cellular phones. The corresponding ORs for living in urban areas were 0.9 (95% CI 0.8 to 1.2) and 0.9 (95% CI 0.6 to 1.4), respectively. This effect was most obvious for malignant brain tumors.

The author's assumed lower exposure in urban areas due to the closer proximity to the base stations and therefore lower output power of the devices. These assumptions contrast our latest findings which demonstrate that the average exposure is dominated by the handovers and not by the steady-state PWC level. These findings were obtained inside a moving car. In view of these findings we will extend our study to also cover more stationary usage of phones.

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