Systematic review of wireless phone use and brain cancer and other head tumors

Michael H. Repacholi, Alexander Lerchl, Martin Röösli, Zenon Sienkiewicz, Anssi Auvinen, Jürgen Breckenkamp, Guglielmo D'Inzeo, Paul Elliott, Patrizia Frei, Sabine Heinrich, Isabelle Lagroye, Anna Lahkola, David L. Mccormick, Silke Thomas, Paolo Vecchia

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    78 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    We conducted a systematic review of scientific studies to evaluate whether the use of wireless phones is linked to an increased incidence of the brain cancer glioma or other tumors of the head (meningioma, acoustic neuroma, and parotid gland), originating in the areas of the head that most absorb radiofrequency (RF) energy from wireless phones. Epidemiology and in vivo studies were evaluated according to an agreed protocol; quality criteria were used to evaluate the studies for narrative synthesis but not for meta-analyses or pooling of results. The epidemiology study results were heterogeneous, with sparse data on long-term use (≥10 years). Meta-analyses of the epidemiology studies showed no statistically significant increase in risk (defined as P<0.05) for adult brain cancer or other head tumors from wireless phone use. Analyses of the in vivo oncogenicity, tumor promotion, and genotoxicity studies also showed no statistically significant relationship between exposure to RF fields and genotoxic damage to brain cells, or the incidence of brain cancers or other tumors of the head. Assessment of the review results using the Hill criteria did not support a causal relationship between wireless phone use and the incidence of adult cancers in the areas of the head that most absorb RF energy from the use of wireless phones. There are insufficient data to make any determinations about longer-term use (≥10 years).

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)187-206
    Number of pages20
    JournalBioelectromagnetics
    Volume33
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012

    Keywords

    • Brain cancer
    • Head tumors
    • Radiofrequency fields
    • Systematic review
    • Wireless phones

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