Cell Phone Use Linked to Brain Tumors Says WHO Study


The World Health Organization (WHO) conducted a ten-year investigation of cell phone use and reportedly has found a link between long-term use and brain tumors. According to the Daily Telegraph of Great Britain, the WHO will release the official results of their study before the end of the year.

Investigators with the WHO study surveyed the cell phone habits of 12,800 people in 13 countries. No specific results of the ten-year WHO study have been released, but the Telegraph reported that a “significantly increased risk” of some types of brain tumors was linked to ten or more years of cell phone use. The damage reportedly comes from the radiofrequency radiation emitted by cell phones.


Cell phone manufacturers and some scientists insist that cell phone use is safe. However, there has been speculation for many years that the radiation emitted by cell phones could have a detrimental effect on the brain. Since cell phone use has been such an ingrained part of cultures everywhere for a decade or more, it has been possible for longer-term studies to be conducted. The $30 million WHO study is a groundbreaking example of such a study.

Consumers who are interested in learning how much radiation their cell phone emits can check with the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that has published an online guide to cell phone radiation. To help reduce exposure to cell phone radiation, the Environmental Working Group urges consumers to text more and talk less, use headsets and speaker phone whenever possible, and to avoid cell phone use when the signal is poor.

More than four billion people use cell phones around the world. A significant percentage of the cell phone users are children, whose softer, thinner skulls have less ability to protect the brain from radiation. Because so many children have cell phones largely as a safety issue, parents should especially encourage headset and speaker phone use for their children. Also see EWG's top 10 phones, based on low emissions.

Daily Telegraph, October 24, 2009
Environmental Working Group