Bristol professor's advice: 'Limit children's use of mobiles'
A BRISTOL professor has advised that children should limit their use of mobile phones to minimise the risk of brain cancer.
Denis Henshaw, emeritus presenter at Bristol University, said that while there is currently no evidence to directly link mobile phones and brain cancer precautions should be taken to minimise exposure to radiation. He was commenting on research presented yesterday at the scientific conference of the charity Children with Leukaemia, of which he is scientific director.
The research from Prof Darius Leszczynski of the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority in Finland, suggested that radiation from mobile phones could activate signals in the brain that stimulate the growth of cancer cells.
His findings were the result of studying several studies that had already been published and comparing them to how the most common form of brain tumours develop.
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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has already found that there is inconclusive evidence about the ways radiation might affect the brain and cancer growth. Mobile phones have only been widely used for about 20 years and more time is needed to work out long-term risks.
Prof Leszczynski believes there is a different way of looking at changes to brain cells caused by mobile phone radiation and says more work needs to be done to test his theory.
Prof Henshaw said: "The International Agency for Research on Cancer – the WHO's own cancer agency – last year classified the radiation from mobile phones as 'possibly carcinogenic to humans'.
"IARC does not come to these conclusions lightly – 31 scientists from 14 countries assessed the potential health effects. And they ruled there is a possible link between mobile phone use and brain cancer.
"So, while we cannot say yet there is a causal link between brain cancer and mobile phones, research is ongoing and we are right to keep the evidence under review. And until we are sure that there are no health risks from mobile phone radiation, children, in particular, should only use mobile phones for essential purposes and keep calls short."