Communicating on a mobile phone and using a microwave oven does not lead to the appearance of brain tumors, Spanish scientists found in the most large-scale study to date. Nevertheless, they doubt the safety of frequent and prolonged exposure to electromagnetic radiation from these devices.
Spanish scientists from the Barcelona Institute of Global Health have not identified a link between electromagnetic radiation and brain cancer. The results of the study were published in the journal Environment International.
Electromagnetic waves emit many modern devices, from microwaves to mobile phones. A lot of people are afraid of this radiation, believing that it can lead to the formation of brain tumors. However, a new study shows that this is not so.
The fears of the population are partially justified, because electromagnetic radiation also includes ultraviolet, X-ray and gamma radiation, which are really capable of provoking the development of cancer.
However, in recent years, more and more concern is caused by weak electromagnetic waves within a few kilohertz. Seven years ago, based on existing research, WHO even included them in the list of potential carcinogens. Nevertheless, the very fact of inclusion in this list has not yet confirmed the negative impact on the body.
Measuring the effect of electromagnetic waves on the brain is quite problematic – today, space is literally permeated by them. In addition, brain cancer itself is relatively rare. Therefore, it is difficult to assess how much electromagnetic radiation can contribute to the development of the tumor.
Based on the existing scientific literature, the researchers developed a matrix for evaluating electromagnetic waves of several types – from super long to short (from 3 kHz to 10 MHz) and ultrashort (from 10 MHz to 300 GHz). The effects of waves of this length are often experienced in workplaces.
After that, they sorted out according to the matrix the data on the primary cancerous brain tumors and the use of mobile phones in about 4000 people and compared with the control group of 5,000 people. The study took into account the data of participants from seven countries working in various fields, including medical diagnostics, telecommunications and radiolocation.
“This is the largest study linking the development of brain tumors and the effects of electromagnetic radiation to date,” emphasizes the lead author of the study Elizabeth Cardis.
The calculations showed that there was no significant correlation between the frequency of brain tumors and the extent to which the participants in the study were exposed to radiation.
And yet, it is too early to speak about the unambiguous harmlessness of radiation – of all the participants in the study, only 10% of them were exposed to a strong effect of radiation. And among them the risk of developing tumors was slightly elevated.
“Although we did not find a positive correlation, the fact that we observed signs of increased risk in the group most exposed to electromagnetic radiation deserves further study,” says researcher Javier Vila.
Summing up, the authors note that now there is nothing to worry about, but it is necessary to concentrate efforts to create more accurate tools for detecting even hypothetical risks.
In May 2018, British researchers suggested that the radiation of mobile phones can still provoke the development of tumors – over the past 20 years, the number of cases of formation of multiform glioblastomas, aggressive brain tumors has doubled.
Scientists have analyzed almost 80 thousand cases of malignant brain tumors in the UK for 20 years. They found that if in 1995, 1250 people were affected by glioblastoma, then by 2015 the annual incidence increased to almost 3,000 people.
If earlier from this tumor 2,4 people from 100 thousand suffered, now it threatens already to five people from 100 thousand.
The localization of the tumor in the anterior part of the temporal lobe, according to the researchers, “causes suspicion that mobile phones and wireless phones can promote the spread of tumors.”
Nevertheless, such results may turn out to be just an accidental coincidence.