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Thu, Jan 08

Cellphones do not give you brain cancer

Cellphones are increasingly globally ubiquitous. And like many technologies (for example, microwaves), their increased use has come with health concerns. Among the most prominent is that using cellphones can lead to brain tumors. Most recently, a paper from a team in Sweden has again concluded that the use of cellphones and cordless phones increases the risk for tumors, most specifically glioma, a type of usually malignant brain tumor.

In this study, mobile phone users were 30 percent more likely to develop gliomas. Those who used phones for 25 years or more were 200 percent more likely. These effects are enormous, although they are still small in absolute terms. The chance of developing a brain tumor of this type every year is about 3 in 100,000. The researchers concluded that long-term mobile phone use increases this chance to about 9 in 100,000. That’s still small, but it’s a substantial increase. And this possibility might be enough for many of us to switch to hands-free devices (which avoid these issues because the phone is not against your head).

Read more from FiveThirtyEight.