Childhood brain tumour risk and its association with wireless phones: a commentary

Environ Health. 2011 Dec 19:10:106. doi: 10.1186/1476-069X-10-106.


Case-control studies on adults point to an increased risk of brain tumours (glioma and acoustic neuroma) associated with the long-term use of mobile phones. Recently, the first study on mobile phone use and the risk of brain tumours in children and adolescents, CEFALO, was published. It has been claimed that this relatively small study yielded reassuring results of no increased risk. We do not agree. We consider that the data contain several indications of increased risk, despite low exposure, short latency period, and limitations in the study design, analyses and interpretation. The information certainly cannot be used as reassuring evidence against an association, for reasons that we discuss in this commentary.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Brain Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Brain Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cell Phone*
  • Child
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Glioma / epidemiology
  • Glioma / etiology
  • Glioma / pathology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Neuroma, Acoustic / epidemiology
  • Neuroma, Acoustic / etiology
  • Neuroma, Acoustic / pathology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Research Design
  • Risk Assessment
  • Scandinavian and Nordic Countries / epidemiology
  • Switzerland / epidemiology
  • Young Adult