Interphone researchers are conducting the largest-ever study investigating if mobile phones cause cancer, examining studies from 6,400 tumours in patients from 13 countries. Final results are expected in early 2009, but the preliminary ones are badbadbad.
Israeli researchers in the study found that regular mobile phones users are a whopping 50 percent more likely than non-users to get brain tumours. Another Interphone study looking at the UK and Scandinavia found a 40 percent greater tumour risk in people who've used mobile phones for over 10 years, though on the bright side, nothing scary for people who've used them for less than a decade.
The final results of Interphone's study are highly anticipated as the first study to provide close to a definitive answer on the mobile phone cancer question, since as PopSci notes, most of the other studies "have been statistically useless," since they didn't survey enough people and looked at too many that had less than 10 years of mobile phone use under the belt, which is how long it takes brain cancer to develop "in most cases."
PopSci's assessment of the gravity of the situation is close to spot-on—definitive proof that mobile phones cause cancer would probably be the along the same lines as discovering that tobacco causes cancer, but you know, huger, since almost everyone uses a mobile phone, from pre-schoolers to grandmas. I guess it's a good thing I rarely use my iPhone for talking. How would you react if mobile phones definitely caused cancer? [Pop Sci]