Document Type



Cellular telephones have been accused of causing brain tumors for years, but none of the studies that have been published have proven there is a link. The tumors that have been researched include parotid gland tumors, acoustic neuromas, and acoustic gliomas, to name a few. Wireless cellular phone usage has been increasing over the past few years, and some European countries are said to have a penetration rate of over 100%, "which is to say there are more subscribers than inhabitants"2. Wireless technology emits electromagnetic energy (AKA microwave radiation or radiofrequency radiation), and sources include not only cellular telephones, but also cordless phones in the home, Bluetooth devices, and others wireless devices. These cancers possibly caused by an unknown dose of radiofrequency fields, or some other unknown biological mechanism, are a concern because of the huge number of cellular phone users around the world today. Children are increasingly users of cell phones and the effect of electromagnetic energy on this population is unknown, and the research on them is fraught with ethical concerns. According to one paper, and an industry research institute in Taipei, there were 2.3 billion mobile phone subscribers in 2006 worldwide2. With this number increasing every year and an estimated 3.3 billion users expected by 2011, if there is any possibility the wireless phones cause tumors in the brain, the implications for public health policies would be extensive, expensive, and monumental in scale and impact. Acoustic neuroma tumors are very slow growing6 and one common sign, a loss of hearing in one ear, may not be recognized or diagnosed as an acoustic neuroma until years after the hearing loss is first noticed. All tumors in the brain are of course a concern to humans, so this link, or lack thereof, is important to demonstrate. This paper focuses on several research papers that are primarily case-control or cohort studies. The papers will be reviewed for sample size, controlling for confounders, addressing biases, and the author of this paper will express his opinion about the quality of each study and answer the following research question: do cellular telephones play a role in the formation of tumors of the brain, and if they do, what can people do to limit the risk.

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Journal Title

International Journal of Global Health and Health Disparities





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©2009 International Journal of Global Health and Health Disparities



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Public Health Commons



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