“Interphone – Health Protection Agency”

Main Category: Cancer / Oncology
Also Included In: Radiology / Nuclear Medicine;  Neurology / Neuroscience;  Public Health
Article Date: 18 May 2010 – 5:00 PDT

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The INTERPHONE study, published today, which is the biggest piece of research to date on the possible links between mobile phone use and brain tumours, has been warmly welcomed by experts at the HPA.

The study, a pooled analysis of studies from 13 different countries, is a major contribution to the understanding of the health impact of mobile phones. It concludes that ‘biases and errors’ within the study have restricted conclusions that can be drawn and means the researchers were unable to make any clear link between mobile phone use and brain tumours.

Dr John Cooper, director of the Health Protection Agency’s Centre for Radiation, Chemicals and Environmental Hazards, said: “The INTERPHONE study has not established an increase in brain cancer but some uncertainties remain, particularly regarding high users. The HPA welcomes both the study and the call from the International Agency for Research on Cancer for further research into mobile phone use and brain cancer.”

There is no change to the HPA’s long established precautionary advice on the use of mobile phones which is that children should be discouraged from using mobile phones for non-essential calls and that the public should have easy access to information about exposure levels from different phones so they can make informed choices.

In light of the specialised nature of the INTERPHONE study and its importance, the HPA has asked a group of internationally renowned radiation scientists who sit on its independent body the Advisory Group on Non-Ionising Radiation (AGNIR) to review it, its methods and findings. When the group has completed its work the HPA will issue a further statement.


-The multi-national INTERPHONE study was set up in 2000 involving research in 13 countries to see if mobile phone use is associated with an increased risk of head and neck tumours (including brain and salivary gland tumours). The paper published today focuses on brain tumours. Findings for other tumours will be published subsequently.

-For more information on INTERPHONE visit http://www.iarc.fr.

-The Health Protection Agency advises the Government, and devolved administrations, on all aspects of the impact of ionising and non-ionising radiation on public health.

-For more information on mobile phones visit here. For more information on AGNIR, and who sits on it, visit here.

Health Protection Agency

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