Cancer doubt remains over mobiles

The long-term cancer risk of mobile phone use cannot be ruled out, experts have concluded.

A major six-year research programme found a “hint” of a higher cancer risk.

But the UK Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Programme (MTHRP) did rule out short-term adverse effects to brain and cell function.

Researchers are now expanding the programme to look at phone use over 10 years, and the specific impact on children, which has not been studied.

The MTHRP programme, funded by the government and communications industry, has carried out 23 separate studies into the health impact of mobile phones, masts and base stations.

Programme chairman Professor Lawrie Challis said it was now up to the government to offer advice.

The team found that there was a slight excess reporting of brain and acoustic neuroma (ear) cancers.

Researchers said this was on the borderline of statistical significance.

Professor Challis said that it was only responsible to do more research, citing the way smoking was not linked to lung cancer at first.