No link between early childhood cancers and living near mobile phone base station during pregnancy, says study
A new study looking at the patterns of early childhood cancers across Great Britain has found no association between a mother living near to a mobile phone base station during her pregnancy and the risk of that child developing cancer before reaching the age of five.
The study, published today on bmj.com, is the first to look at the health effects of mobile phone base stations in Great Britain as a whole, and is the largest of its kind.
Use of mobile (cellular) phones has increased markedly in recent years and questions have been raised about possible health effects, including brain and other cancers, especially after prolonged use.
Opinion surveys also indicate high levels of public concern about the potential risks of living near mobile phone base stations.
Previous reports of apparent cancer clusters near mobile phone base stations are difficult to interpret, due to small numbers and possible biases that could have affected the results. There is also a lack of any radiobiological explanation for such cancer excesses.
For today's study, researchers from Imperial College London looked at almost 7,000 children and explored whether there was any correlation between a mother living near a mobile phone base station during her pregnancy and that child's risk of developing cancer.
The researchers identified 1,397 British children aged 0-4 years, who were registered with leukaemia or a tumour in the brain or central nervous system between 1999 and 2001.
The researchers compared data on how close the children's birth addresses were to a mobile phone base station, with the same data on children selected as controls. For each child with cancer, four healthy children who shared the same gender and birth date were chosen at random to act as controls.
|Contact: Laura Gallagher|
Imperial College London