“No Link” Between Cell Towers and Child Cancer

by Jordan Richardson on June 23, 2010

The link between cell phones and cancer has long been controversial. Study after study has explored the link, with findings ranging from the conclusive to the inconclusive to the downright useless.

A new study by British researchers has discovered that there is no apparent link between child cancer and cell towers, adding yet another block of information to the debate.

Researchers analyzed 1,397 cancer cases in children up to age four from 1999 to 2001 in the United Kingdom and, using the national birth registry, zeroed in on 5,588 similar children without cancer. Using the data, the researchers essentially measured how far the children’s mothers lived from a cell phone tower and searched for differences. There were no significant differences.

The study was published in BMJ, a British medical journal, and does have its flaws. The researchers admitted that the use of mathematical models rather than determinations of the actual radiation exposure on the mothers could mean that the results of the study are not as accurate as they could be.

There was also a wish to monitor the infants after they were born to check for supplementary health possibilities, but that was not an available option.

Exposure to cell phone tower radio frequency is far less than it is from conventional cell phones, with the study estimating that a day’s exposure to a cell phone tower is equivalent to some 30 minutes of standard cell phone use. These low levels of radiation have been of concern for some researchers, however.

All major studies on the matter of cell phone radiation of any dosage prove to be ultimately inconclusive, with the most notable larger study mainly dismissing any connection to cancer but still not ruling it out.

The search for a cancer connection largely comes as a result of public mythology and fear, say some, but the inability of any major study to provide definitive results will continue to fuel this debate. While there’s no concrete evidence suggesting a connection to types of cancer, it’s doubtful that people will stop talking about the possibilities.

The study does assert that some cancers and other illnesses can take time to appear and noted that studies of cancer rates in adults connected in proximity to cell phone towers would perhaps be more revealing, but for the time being it appears they’re thinking of the children.

In any event, it’s hard to reach any conclusion pertaining to cell phone radiation of any kind just yet. While there’s no data to suggest pressing harm, the lasting possibilities purely haven’t been explored in credible fashion just yet.

It should be noted that the study was funded by the Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Programme, an independent study group jointly funded by the U.K. Department of Health and the mobile telecommunications industry.

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