Nearly five decades ago, Americans learned that one of their most treasured habits—smoking—was lethal. This year, we could get more scary news, when scientists announce the results from Interphone, the largest-ever study to investigate whether cellphones cause cancer.
Interphone researchers are pooling and analyzing the results gathered from studies on 6,400 tumors sampled from patients in 13 countries. If the final results mirror the preliminary ones, the world’s three billion cellphone users might want to dial back their talk time. Israeli researchers participating in Interphone found that people who use cellphones regularly are 50 percent more likely than non-users to develop brain tumors. And a joint Interphone analysis from the U.K., Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland reported a 40 percent increase in tumor risk in people who use cellphones for more than a decade; the study found no discernable risk for people who have used cellphones for fewer than 10 years.