In developed countries, almost every person uses their mobile phone every day. This part of the technological progress that became a part of our life around two decades ago is now impossible to live without. However, it is more than a little worrying that this daily use occurs without people being aware of the risks involved. It is a fact, after all, that the radiation emitted by mobile phones requires a warning.
Ever since there have been phones, scientists have investigated the health effects produced by using this technological device. As mobile phones have only been part of our daily lives for quite a short time, there are only a few long-term studies - or studies with people who have been in contact with mobile telephones since birth. This could also be a reason that so far there have been no clear results arising.
The last largescale investigation into the influence of the use of mobile phones on human health came quite a few years ago already. In 2000, the so-called Interphone study started, in which researchers surveyed more than 12,000 people about their mobile phone usage. In the course of this survey, data was collected over a period of 10 years. Also investigated was the emergence of four different types of cancer - acoustic neuroma (tumour of the auditory nerve), glioma (tumour of the central nervous system), meningioma (tumour of the meninges) and parotid cancer. The results showed there is no connection between ordinary use of a mobile phone and the development of cancer. However, a higher probability was detected of gliomas near the ears of intensive mobile users. The study itself was, however, criticised by several experts. Apart from that the fact that those surveyed had to themselves document their mobile phone usage, there was no comparative group of people who did not use a mobile phone over the period in the study. In addition, those in the test group who had died of cancer during the study were not included in the result. It is also worth noting that mobile phone use has greatly increased in the years since.
Although clear evidence for the increased cancer risk from mobile phone use is lacking, many authorities are by now calling for caution. The fact is that there is a lack of long-term studies and the impact on children is in part still completely unaddressed.
Incidentally, the so-called Cosmos study is currently ongoing, which is examining the health of about 200,000 mobile phone users between the ages of 20 and 30 years old.