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Research scientists do not believe that cell phones cause brain cancer. A study completed by the National Cancer Institute did not show an increase in cases of brain cancer among those who used cell phones versus those who did not. The greatest health risks cell phones present are actually due to the increased risk of car accidents. Other health risks can occur in people with pacemakers.

Cell Phone Health Risks: An Introduction

At this point, there is no data to support that cell phones cause brain cancer. However, the greatest health risks cell phones present are due to the increased risk of car accidents. Cell phones can also have increased health risks for people with pacemakers.
 

Pacemaker Problems

One research study involving 980 people with pacemakers reported that a cell phone held over the pacemaker or held against the chest interfered with a substantial proportion of pacemakers. However, holding the cell phone against the ear caused little interference.
 

Car Accidents

To date, the most significant health effect for cell phone use is an increased risk of car accidents. A 1997 article in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that the risk of a collision was about four times greater when the driver was using either a hands-free telephone or holding the phone to the ear with one hand. There is also evidence from a 1999 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that the heaviest cell phone users have more than twice the mortality rates from car accidents than the lightest cell phone users.
 

Health Risks With Cell Phones: Brain Cancer

At this point, research scientists do not believe that cell phones cause brain cancer. This theory is based on a study completed by the National Cancer Institute that did not show an increase in brain cancer cases for those who used cell phones versus those who did not use them.
 
(Click Cell Phones and Brain Cancer for more information about this and other research studies currently in progress focusing on whether cell phones cause brain tumors.)
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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