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Mobile Phones [Don’t] Cause Brain Tumors (study summary)


International Journal of Epidemiology
Brain tumour risk in relation to mobile telephone use: results of the INTERPHONE international case–control study

The INTERPHONE Study Group

June 1, 2010


This study looked for a correlation between mobile phone use and two types of brain tumor: glioma and meningioma.


Researchers studied mobile phone users in thirteen countries. Despite a 40% rise in brain tumor among the heaviest phone users, researchers were unable to correlate phone use with brain tumor formation.



The study focused on people aged thirty to 59 years old.

The study followed mobile phone users for ten years.

Researchers interviewed subjects about phone use prior to the study’s start date. If subjects developed tumors, researchers interviewed them about phone use again.

The researchers interviewed glioma and meningioma tumor victim subjects, but not other brain tumor subjects.

They gathered self-reported data about subjects’ self-reported phone use, including:

  • duration per call
  • years since first use
  • side of head most in contact with phone



Researchers concluded that subjects with the longest phone use time had a higher rate of glioma tumors.

Most of the tumors were on the same side of the head as typical phone use.

Authors concluded that the correlation was inconclusive due to inherent mistakes in the study.

Possible errors included poor self-reporting memory and biased sampling.


In a study of over 4,000 brain tumor patients, researchers were unable to correlate mobile phone use with brain tumor formation.

The heaviest mobile phone users did have a higher than normal rate of brain tumors.

Researchers dismissed the correlation as inconclusive due to methodology errors.


Update March 25, 2020

Healthline’s article Should You Be Worried About EMF Exposure? repeats the flaws in the original INTERPHONE study and its apologist summaries. I wrote Healthline this note in response:

  • The INTERPHONE study showed a clear relationship between cell phone exposure and glioma. A 40% increase on the same side of the head as phone use. If you go by the abstract, you will not see this, but it’s very obvious from the data. In fact, this study is so poorly interpreted that the authors managed to find report that cell phone use has a protective effect that guards users from brain cancer. Taking this study on its abstract is dangerous and exactly what the telephony industry wants you to do.
  • EMF are not measured in v/m. ELECTRIC fields are measured in v/m. Magnetic fields are measured in milliGauss and microTesla.