The argument as to whether cell phones cause cancer has been going on for many years now, but a group of leading scientists in the United Kingdom are now claiming that the devices are a “health time bomb”. The scientists say that over 200 academic studies have connected the use of new and old cell phones with serious health issues including brain tumors. The scientists also point in their report to a number of studies that link the use of cell phones over a long-term period to the development of a particularly rare form of brain tumor known as a glioma, according to The Daily Mail. In 2008, a Swedish study also suggested that children who use cell phones have a five times greater probability of developing a glioma than children who do not.
The scientists say that other peer-reviewed studies have uncovered inconclusive but nonetheless worrying links to brain cell damage, childhood behavioral problems in children whose mothers used cell phones during pregnancy, and low sperm counts.
Consultant neurologist Kevin O’Neill from the Charing Cross Hospital is one of the authors of the new report, and he says that the latency period for brain tumors is around 20 years, which means that the consequences of frequent cell phone use may not have yet become apparent. “Waiting for certainty of harm is a dangerous policy”, he notes.
“Vast numbers of people are using mobile phones and they could be a time bomb of health problems”, says co-author Professor Denis Henshaw from Bristol University.