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Mobile use poses cancer risk: study

New French study points to increased risk of cancer in professionals who use their phones for more than 15 hours every month

YOUR mobile phone could give you cancer - but only if you use it for more than 15 hours every month over several years.

Researchers at the University of Bordeaux said in the scientific journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine that their study of people with meningiomas and gliomas in Gironde, in the Calvados, Manche and the Hérault, revealed a link between years of heavy mobile phone use and a specific type of cancerous brain tumour.

They found that regular professional mobile phone users, such as salespeople, living in urban areas were at greater risk of developing the tumours.

But Roger Salamon, director of university institute ISPED, which carried out the study, said: “There is no reason to panic.

“This does not mean that everyone who makes a call with a mobile phone is going to develop a brain tumour.”

The researchers could not determine a threshold beyond which the risk increases but concluded using a hands-free kit was advisable as it limited overuse.

And Le Parisien, which reported the findings, said that most people in France use their mobile phones for an average of two and half hours each week.

Priartem, a French group pushing for tough new rules of electromagnetic waves, however, said that this study should persuade authorities in France to launch a national campaign of information and prevention.

The group’s President Janine Le Calvez said: “How much proof is needed before we launch real protective measures for the population, notably for children who start using mobiles from the age of 13?”

The national Institute for Prevention and Education for Health (Inpes) recognises that “questions about the possibility of long-term effects cannot be excluded, particularly in the case of intensive users”.

Inpes pointed out that the International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified electromagnetic waves, including the type emitted by mobile phones, as “possible carcinogens”.

But the American National Cancer Institute has said that no study has consistently linked mobile phones with brain cancer.

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