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No link between childhood cancer and phone masts

23rd June 2010

Researchers from Imperial College London have said that pregnant women whose homes are near to mobile phone masts are not putting their unborn babies at risk of cancer. 

pregnancy

It is the first study to investigate the possibility of a link between the UK's 81,000 mobile phone masts and childhood cancers.

It has been claimed that cases of leukaemia and other childhood cancers occurred in "clusters" around the mobile phone masts.

Paul Elliott, professor of epidemiology and public health medicine, said one of the benefits of the study was that it looked at the whole country and not only the areas where people were worried about the danger of cancer.

"We looked at the exposure of the child at the birth address and nine months before. So we were effectively looking at the exposure of the foetus. Within the limitations of the study, these results are reassuring," he said.

The study, which was published in the British Medical Journal, found 1,400 children aged four years or younger who were diagnosed with a childhood cancer between 1999 and 2001.

The team then calculated the distance of each child's address at birth from the closest base station.

"The results of our study should help to place any future reports of cancer clusters near mobile-phone base stations in a wider public-health context", the team said in conclusion.

 

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