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01-Apr-2018 10:57

In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified mobile phones for the first time in their 'gold-standard' rating system.They said the devices could 'possibly' cause cancer in humans (group 2B), but there wasn't enough evidence to come to a clear conclusion.The radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation they transmit and receive is very weak.This radiation does not have enough energy to damage DNA, and cannot directly cause cancer.

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But we do not know enough to completely rule out a risk.The Hardell studies suggest a link between using a mobile phone and a few specific types of brain tumour, particularly in heavier users.The Inter Phone study, which included over 6,000 people across 13 countries, largely found no link between mobiles and brain tumours, apart from in the ten percent of people who used their phones the most - but this could be explained by problems with the study design.However, brain tumours can take many years to develop, so it is possible that incidence rates would only start rising after more time.There still aren't any good explanations for how mobile phones could cause cancer.

But we do not know enough to completely rule out a risk.The Hardell studies suggest a link between using a mobile phone and a few specific types of brain tumour, particularly in heavier users.The Inter Phone study, which included over 6,000 people across 13 countries, largely found no link between mobiles and brain tumours, apart from in the ten percent of people who used their phones the most - but this could be explained by problems with the study design.However, brain tumours can take many years to develop, so it is possible that incidence rates would only start rising after more time.There still aren't any good explanations for how mobile phones could cause cancer.Read what we said at the time on our Science Update Blog Post.