We have now fully read the published data on the first of the pooled INTERPHONE results. Recent coverage in the Daily Mail, the Times, the Telegraph and the Scotsman have announced that the paper demonstrates clear brain tumour risks from long term usage. Some other media, including the BBC, have reported almost opposite conclusions.
From our analysis, it is hard to conclude anything from the data other than the fact it is beginning to point towards a genuine long term association between mobile phone use and brain tumours. Despite the obvious flaws in the study skewing the data towards showing a protective effect, the long term pooled usage still showed a statistically significant 40% increase in risk of gliomas, one of the quickest killing forms of malignant cancer, but also a near significant increase in risk for meningiomas. It is without question that more research must urgently be done collecting more data on long term use (ideally with categories over 12, 15 and even over 20 years of usage, and higher cumulative hours data), as if the latency period for these tumours from other sources applies also to mobile phone exposure, we could be seeing the tip of the iceberg. If we really are only seeing the first 3 or 4% of eventual tumours, the real risk could easily be 30 times higher than the data has shown so far, and we will have no way of knowing until more comprehensive research is completed.