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Setback for U.S. lawyers: Cell phones still aren’t causing cancer

Updated Dec 12th, 2012 9:38AM EST

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A brand new study published in the prestigious Epidemiology journal shows that mobile phone usage still cannot be linked to gliomas, a broad range of cancerous tumors type that form in the brain or spinal cord. The study used glioma incidence statistics from four Nordic countries (Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark) over a 20-year period.

Scandinavia is humanity’s early warning system for a possible mobile phone-related cancer epidemic; mobile phone market penetration soared in Finland and Sweden well before more populous countries like the United States or France. Finland’s mobile phone penetration had already hit 40% in 1997. The universal health care systems in Nordic countries yield some of the most accurate and detailed information about the incidence of various cancer types.

Gliomas are still not becoming more common in Scandinavia, despite more than 15 years of heavy-duty mobile phone use across a range of age groups. Among 20 to 39-year-old women, there is a slight increase of glioma cases. But among men, the number of cases has been declining since late 1980s. “Epidemiology” has an impact factor of 5.566 and it ranks as the No.4 journal in the category of “Public, Environmental and Occupational Health.” This effectively trumps all published research papers that have hinted at a link between brain cancer and mobile phone usage.

This latest study effectively rules out a clear-cut increase in brain tumors if the delay in the onset of the disease is 10 years or less. But there is one hope yet for America’s class action lawyers: A slight chance that mobile phone use may cause oncogenesis with an atypically long delay.

There are some rare types of cancers that occur 20 years or later after exposure to the trigger. A tiny possibility of mobile phone usage getting linked to brain cancer still lingers on… and the first signs of danger would be likely to emerge in the major medical research centers of Stockholm, Helsinki and Oslo.[bgr-post-bug]

After launching mobile game company SpringToys tragically early in 2000, Tero Kuittinen spent eight years doing equity research at firms including Alliance Capital and Opstock. He is currently an analyst and VP of North American sales at mobile diagnostics and expense management Alekstra, and has contributed to, Forbes and Business 2.0 Magazine in addition to BGR.