The world's most comprehensive study of the health effect of cell phone use, two years overdue, has yet to be published. But some of the studies that contribute to the report are raising old concerns about the long-term safety of using wireless technology, according to the Toronto Star.
The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer expects to complete work on its 13-nation, 50-scientist collaboration soon. The intent is to define what, if any, risk of cancer comes from prolonged use of cell phones.
It "involves the pooled analysis of thousands of cases of tumours in the head and neck area: gliomas, meningiomas, acoustic neuromas and parotid gland tumors," the Star reports. Until now, authoritative research had supported the overall safety of cell phones, but some say the newly widespread use of cell phone technology, and the prolonged use over years, could represent risks that weren't adequately tested in earlier studies.
Here's a look at some of the results that have leaked. Be cautioned, however, that the synthesis of various studies could throw doubt on any of these conclusions:
A 2007 study conducted in five Northern European countries found a significantly increased risk of developing glioma after using a cell phone for more than 10 years. Glioma is a cancer of central nervous system cells, usually the brain.
A 2008 analysis of 10 European studies published since 2000 found a pattern of association between long-term cell phone use and a type of glioma and acoustic neuroma, a non-cancerous inner ear tumor.
A 2008 study showed heavy cell phone users had a 50% increased risk of developing a salivary gland tumor.
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