MTHR has concluded that mobile phones pose no health risks to users
MTHR has concluded that mobile phones pose no health risks to users Reuters

An 11-year UK study by independent research group MTHR has found no evidence that mobile phones cause any "biological or adverse health effects".

The results were published in the second Mobile Telecommunications and Health Report.

MTHR's study tested the impact of mobile phones on the human body, as well as emissions from macrocell mobile base stations. It "found no evidence that exposure to base station emissions during pregnancy affects the risk of developing cancer in early childhood, and no evidence that use of mobile phones leads to an increased risk of leukaemia".

The report is dated 2012 and is based on the programme's findings at the end of the study that year but it has taken until now for the researchers to complete their analysis.

"When the MTHR programme was set up, there were many scientific uncertainties about possible health risks from mobile phones and related technology," Prof David Coggon, chairman of MTHR said.

"This independent programme is now complete, and despite exhaustive research, we have found no evidence of risks to health from the radio waves produced by mobile phones or their base stations. Thanks to the research conducted within the programme, we can now be much more confident about the safety of modern telecommunications systems."

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To determine whether mobile base stations present health risks, the group funded a case-control study led by Prof Paul Elliott at Imperial College London to investigate if exposure during pregnancy affected the risk of developing cancer in early children.

The team studied almost 1,400 cases of cancer in children up to the age of four from across the UK and accessed the exposure to the mothers from their home to the nearest base station.

Since a person's head is most exposed to mobile phone emissions, the research group also supported a study led by Prof Anthony Swerdlow of the Institute of Cancer Research to investigate whether mobile phones increased the risk of acute and non-lymphocytic leukaemia.

No increased risk of leukaemia

Researchers studied more than 800 people diagnosed with leukaemia between 2003 and 2009. The subjects were asked about their mobile phone use, together with other risk factors such as smoking history, medical history, occupational history and family medical history.

"The study found no association between regular use of a mobile phone and the risk of leukaemia. There was also no evidence of a trend of increasing risk with the time since a mobile phone was first used, total years of use, cumulative number of calls or cumulative hours of use," the report states.

"Although there was a suggestion of an increased risk of acute myeloid leukaemia with long-term phone use (more than 15 years), this was not statistically significant and appears unlikely to be real, given the normally short latency for this cancer."

The MTHR said its results were consistent with those in a study of mobile phone subscribers in Denmark in 2006.