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Smartphones not linked to plane crashes, petrol bowser explosions or brain cancer

Aug 28, 2017 under Amazing and Interesting 143 , Health 25 , Science & Tech 88

Do smartphones cause brain cancer? Do they really mess with a plane's navigation gear? And petrol pumps? Really?? When it comes to the risks of mobile phone use, one thing is certain: the warnings about cancer, plane crashes and petrol pumps have been with us from the start. But what about the evidence?

It turns out those risks have as much basis in myth and misunderstanding as they do in actual fact. Even so, there is a reason you should switch to flight mode when you fly.

And you might want to limit your kids' use of the phone.

Do mobile phones cause brain cancer?

Not according to the best available evidence to date, say safety experts, although more research is underway.

"There's no established evidence that the radiation from mobile phones causes brain cancer or any other health effects", Ken Karipidis from the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) says.

"People hear radiation and they think nuclear or dangerous, but mobile phones give out low energy radio frequency radiation — the same radiation used in TV and radio signals all around us."

There are studies that have linked heavy mobile phone use and certain brain tumours but "their evidence is far from conclusive", Dr Karipidis says, because they rely on people remembering their phone use "… and people with tumours tend to over-report [their phone use]".

Instead of relying on memory, a massive study called COSMOS is tracking the phone use and health records of hundreds of thousands of people in the UK and Europe for the next 20-30 years to look for any evidence of health effects.

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