Cell phones don't increase cancer risk, new study says

A Danish study followed 350,000 subscribers for 18 years, although critics point to gaps in the research.

A Danish study that monitored 350,000 cell phone users over an 18-year period found no link between mobile phone subscriptions and an increased risk of cancer.

The new study, conducted by the Danish Cancer Society and published in published in the British Medical Journal, is actually an update of an older study that adds five years of follow-up data running through 2007. It found no increased risk of tumors or other forms of cancer believed to be associated with cell phone use, even among those who held mobile phone subscriptions for more than a decade.

The study's approach has one clear weakness, however – it looks only at records of cell phone subscriptions, and not actual cell phone usage.

Devra Davis, a cancer epidemiologist and president of Environmental Health Trust, a group that actively campaigns for warning labels on cell phones, pointed out other flaws with the study:

“In order for any study of a relatively rare disease like brain tumors to find a change in risk, millions must be followed for decades," Davis explains in a lengthy critique of the study. She added that it "excludes those who would have been the heaviest users—namely more than 300,000 business people in the 1990s who are known to have used phones four times as much as those in this study.”

The authors of the study concede that their findings cannot be considered definitive and that a "small to moderate increase in risk for subgroups of heavy users or after even longer induction periods than 10-15 years cannot be ruled out" without larger studies.

The Danish study comes just months after World Health Organization research determined that cell phones should be considered "possibly carcinogenic." The international INTERPHONE study, released last year, also found no connection between cell phone use and cancer, but was widely criticized for being partially funded by the wireless industry.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags consumer electronicsresearchsmartphonesPhones

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Eric Mack

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?