Spending 17 minutes a day on a mobile phone increases cancer risk, study claims

Spending 17 minutes a day on a mobile phone increases cancer risk, study claims
Spending 17 minutes a day on a mobile phone increases cancer risk, study claims

Using a mobile phone for as little as 17 minutes per day over 10 years increases the risk of developing cancerous tumours by up to 60 per cent, a surprising study found.

The controversial research involved statistical analysis of 46 different studies into mobile phone use and health around the world, by experts from UC Berkeley.

They found that using a mobile for 1,000 hours, or roughly 17 minutes per day over a ten year period, increased the risk of developing cancerous tumours by 60 per cent. 

Researchers say that radiation from mobile signals 'interfere with cellular mechanisms' and can result in the creation of stress proteins that cause DNA damage, tumours and even cell death in extreme cases.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) denies any link, saying there is 'no consistent or credible scientific evidence of health problems caused by the exposure to radio frequency energy emitted by cell phones.'

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Berkeley experts examined earlier studies carried out in the US, Sweden, UK, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand to get a broad picture of mobile use and health.

The rate of mobile phone ownership is increasing, with studies showing a rise from 87 per cent of homes having at least one device in 2011, to over 95 per cent in 2020. 

Study author Joel Moskowitz said people should minimise time on mobile phones, keep them away from their body and use a landline for calls where possible. 

Using a mobile phone for as little as 17 minutes per day over 10 years increases the risk of developing cancerous tumours by up to 60 per cent, a surprising study found. Stock image

Using a mobile phone for as little as 17 minutes per day over 10 years increases the risk of developing cancerous tumours by up to 60 per cent, a surprising study found. Stock image

TIPS TO REDUCE RADIATION EXPOSURE FROM A SMARTPHONE 

Joel Moskowitz has been studying the health impact of mobile phones for decades and offered tips to reduce exposure:

Minimise: Use a landline whenever possible. If you do use a cellphone, turn off the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth if you're not using them. 

However, when near a Wi-Fi router, you would be better off using your cellphone on Wi-Fi and turning off the cellular because this will likely result in less radiation exposure than using the cellular network.

Distance: Keeping your cellphone 10 inches away from your body, as compared to one-tenth of an inch, results in a 10,000-fold reduction in exposure.  

Store your phone in a purse or backpack. If you have to put it in your pocket, put it on airplane mode. 

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Text, use wired headphones or speakerphone for calls. Don't sleep with it next to your head - turn it off or put it in another room.

Signal: Use your phone only when the signal is strong. 

Cellphones are programmed to increase radiation when the signal is poor, that is when one or two bars are displayed on your phone. 

For example, don't use your phone in an elevator or in a car, as metal structures interfere with the signal.

SOURCE: UC Berkeley News

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Studies examining a link between mobile phone usage and cancer are controversial, said Moskowitz, who said it is a 'highly sensitive political topic'. 

He said there are significant economic ramifications for the powerful mobile phone industry, which also funds a number of studies into the subject. 

The Berkeley team conducted the research with the South Koreas National Cancer Center and Seoul National University.

'Cell phone use highlights a host of public health issues and it has received little attention in the scientific community, unfortunately,' said Moskowitz.

However, the Food and Drug Administration in the US says on its website there is 'no consistent or credible scientific evidence of health problems caused by the exposure to radio frequency energy emitted by cell phones.'

Charity, Cancer Research UK, says on their website 'the best scientific evidence shows that using mobile phones does not increase the risk of cancer'.

Adding that there also 'aren't any good explanations for how mobile phones could cause cancer,' but say they continue to monitor any new evidence. 

Moskowitz says many of the studies showing no link have been fully or part funded by the mobile phone industry, adding there is obvious evidence of a link. 

He said many experts who support a link say the modulation of wireless devices makes the radiation energy more 'biologically active'. 

'This then interferes with our cellular mechanisms, opening up calcium channels, for example, and allowing calcium to flow into the cell and into the mitochondria within the cell, interfering with our natural cellular processes and leading to the creation of stress proteins and free radicals and, possibly, DNA damage.'

'And, in other cases, it may lead to cell death,' he added. 

'A big reason there isn't more research about the health risks of radiofrequency radiation exposure is because the US

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