Brain and Salivary Gland Tumors and Mobile Phone Use: Evaluating the Evidence from Various Epidemiological Study Designs.

Affiliation

Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, 4051 Basel, Switzerland; email: [Email]

Abstract

Mobile phones (MPs) are the most relevant source of radiofrequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) exposure to the brain and the salivary gland. Whether this exposure implies a cancer risk has been addressed in several case-control and few cohort studies. A meta-analysis of these studies does not show increased risks for meningioma, pituitary, and salivary gland tumors. For glioma and acoustic neuroma, the results are heterogeneous, with few case-control studies reporting substantially increased risks. However, these elevated risks are not coherent with observed incidence time trends, which are considered informative for this specific topic owing to the steep increase in MP use, the availability of virtually complete cancer registry data from many countries, and the limited number of known competing environmental risk factors. In conclusion, epidemiological studies do not suggest increased brain or salivary gland tumor risk with MP use, although some uncertainty remains regarding long latency periods (>15 years), rare brain tumor subtypes, and MP usage during childhood.

Keywords

acoustic neuroma,central nervous system tumor,glioma,intracranial tumor,meningioma,mobile phones,pituitary gland tumor,radiofrequency electromagnetic fields,salivary gland tumor,