Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Tom Wheeler, FCC Chairman: Wireless Industry's Former Chief Lobbyist

[Posted May 28, 2013; updated October 30, 2013]

A wireless industry publication alleged that Mr. Wheeler suppressed and biased the research from the nation’s largest mobile phone health research project.

Tom Wheeler, head of the CTIA from 1992-2004, nominated by the White House to become the next Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has received Senate confirmation.

RCR Wireless News, an industry publication, alleged that Mr. Wheeler suppressed and biased the research from the nation’s largest mobile phone health research project while he served as head of the CTIA, the wireless telecommunications industry association. Wireless Technology Research was a six-year, $28 million research program funded by mobile phone carriers and manufacturers from 1993 to 1999.

The strategies allegedly used by the CTIA were similar to those employed by the Tobacco Industry for many decades to downplay the dangers of cigarette smoking. After six years of litigation by the Department of Justice, a Federal court finally found the Tobacco Industry guilty of fraud and racketeering in 2006.

How long will it take before the curtain is pulled back on the Wireless Industry’s longstanding strategy to co-opt the scientific community, and suppress and bias the research on the health effects of cell phone and wireless radiation? 

RCR Wireless News has been reporting about the wireless and mobile phone industry for industry executives since 1981. It is the official show daily for some of the industry's biggest trade shows including the CTIA. (1)

RCR Wireless News reported in December, 2000 (2):

“In ‘Cell Phones: Invisible Hazards in the Wireless Age,’ Dr. George Carlo-the epidemiologist who managed the six-year, $28 million research program for the cellular-phone industry-and veteran syndicated columnist Martin Schram document how Wheeler, president of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association, allegedly exerted his influence during the research program while loudly touting it as independent.”

“Carlo, hand-picked by Wheeler in 1993 … ran an organization known as Wireless Technology Research L.L.C. WTR managed cell phone-cancer research with money from mobile-phone carriers and manufacturers.”

“The book …is a blistering indictment of the cellular industry and government policy makers. The authors blame industry, federal regulators and Congress for failing the nation’s 107 million wireless subscribers by not following up on new studies showing DNA breaks, genetic damage, increased cancer and other health problems from mobile-phone radiation.”

“Schram and Carlo conclude that Wheeler’s intervention in matters of public relations, funding and personnel ultimately undermined the scientific foundation of the mobile phone-cancer research program itself.”

The book made the following allegations against Mr. Wheeler (2):

  • “In a Nov. 26, 1993, memo … Wheeler outlined a strategy on how the cellular industry and Food and Drug Administration would react in tandem to a then-upcoming CBS `Eye-to-Eye’ program on cell-phone health questions. In the memo, Wheeler pondered how to deal with then-FDA scientist Mays Swicord, who wanted the government to conduct industry-funded cancer studies. Wheeler, who suspected Swicord of leaking key documents to reporters, did not want FDA to do the work, according to the authors.” 
  • “In a 1994 memo, Wheeler raised objections to a draft of a mobile-phone manual that, among other things, advised consumers how to limit radio-frequency radiation from mobile phones. The book says Wheeler succeeded in getting the industry consumer safety document watered down.”
  • "In a September 1994 memo, Wheeler mapped out ‘a pre-emptive strike’ on Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) by highlighting to Markey the involvement of Harvard University. Wheeler, according to the book, even had a backup plan to curry favor with Markey that, if necessary, would ‘send all cash through Harvard.’ “
  •  “At a July 11, 1993, meeting at CTIA headquarters, the book says Wheeler and former presidential secretaries Jody Powell and Ron Nessen coached Carlo on how to speak to the press about cancer allegations, agonizing over Carlo’s every word.” t the 1993 meeting, when Nessen asked Carlo what cell-phone research had concluded to date, Carlo replied, ‘So far, so good.’ Pressed further by Powell, Carlo added, “We have reviewed about 400 papers, and there are no `red flags.’ And we are still reviewing more.” But Wheeler, Nessen and Powell, according to the book’s authors, thought Carlo sounded too wishy-washy. So Wheeler spoke up, ‘We need to say phones are safe. We need to reassure our customers.’ “ 
  • That tack won Wheeler a reprimand from FDA official Elizabeth Jacobson in July 1993 for publicly stating in advance that ‘we expect the new research to reach the same conclusion, that cellular phones are safe.’” (2)

RCR Wireless News reported in May, 1996 (3):

“CTIA’s Wheeler told RCR health and safety assessment monies are spent on information dissemination connected with the WTR research ‘because people like you and others ask for it’ and ‘we have a responsibility to get information out.’ Asked what that information is, Wheeler said it includes telling the public that wireless phones are safe.”

“’Our position is there is no scientific linkage,’ said Wheeler. ‘It is a well-known fact.’ “
“That stance, propagated by CTIA while research is still underway, has raised concerns in the federal government and the wireless telecommunications industry about the potential to undermine research.”

“Dr. Elizabeth Jacobson, deputy director for science at the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, chastised Wheeler three years ago about comments at a press conference that she said “seemed to display an unwarranted confidence that these products will be found to be absolutely safe.”

“’Our job as a public health agency is to protect health and safety, not to `reassure consumers,’” added Jacobson. An FDA spokeswoman said the letter was accurate at that time, but declined to comment on CTIA public relations in connection with WTR research or on WTR’s funding problems.” (3)

RCR Wireless News reported in December, 2005 (4):

In a class action lawsuit filed against the cell phone industry for failing to disclose to consumers that scientific studies differ on whether mobile-phone radiation can cause health problems, the plaintiffs’ lawyers made the following allegation:

“Wheeler sent a memorandum in the early 1990s suggesting deletions of statements from a public manual on responsible cell-phone use then being drafted by a CTIA committee. Plaintiffs’ attorneys said the deletions acknowledged or implied cell phones could pose a health risk.”

“Do not operate your transportable cellular telephone when holding the antenna, or when any person is within 4 inches (10 centimeters of the antenna).’ Crossed out are the next statements: `Otherwise, you may impair call quality, may cause your phone to operate at a higher power level than is necessary, and may expose that person to RF energy in excess of the levels established by the updated ANSI (America National Standards Institute) standard. … If you want to limit RF exposure even further, you may choose to control the duration of your calls or maintain a distance from the antenna of more than 4 inches (10 centimeters).”‘ (4)

(1) Wikipedia. “RCR Wireless News.” URL:

(2) Jeffrey Silva. “Carlo book points finger at CTIA, Wheeler.”  RCRWireless. December 18, 2000. URL:

(3) Jeffrey Silva. “Research Fund May Fall Short of Goal.” RCRWireless, May 27, 1996. URL:

(4) Jeffrey Silva. “Amended health lawsuit bypasses cancer question.” RCRWireless.   December 19, 2005. URL:

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Belgium: Cell Phone Radiation Safety Warnings

Children’s mobile phones are banned. The specific absorption rate (SAR) must be listed on every mobile phone at the point of sale and a warning provided to customers to choose a lower SAR phone, use it moderately, and wear an earpiece.

According to the Federal Public Service, beginning in March, 2014, new regulations will apply to the sale of mobile phones in Belgium. Children’s mobile phones will be banned. The specific absorption rate (SAR) for every mobile phone must be listed at the point of sale and the following warning must be provided to customers:
“Think about your health – use your mobile phone moderately, make your calls wearing an earpiece and choose a set with a lower SAR value.”
The Belgian government's additional recommendations include use of other hands-free methods to keep the phone away from the body such as text messaging, and not making calls when the signal is weak, such as in an elevator or in a moving vehicle.

All cell phones will be labeled with the letter A, B, C, D, or E, corresponding to the phone's specific absorption rating, or SAR, which is a measure of the maximum amount of energy deposited in an adult user's brain during a short phone call.

  • "A" indicates a SAR less than 0.4 watts/kilogram (w/kg),
  • "B" from 0.4 to less than 0.8 w/kg, 
  • "C" from 0.8 to less than 1.2 w/kg, 
  • "D" from 1.2 to less than 1.6 w/kg, and 
  • "E" more than 1.6 w/kg.
Although phones sold in the U.S. cannot currently exceed 1.6 w/kg and are measured in a different manner than in Europe, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is currently considering weakening the U.S. standard and adopting the European or international standard which was developed by a private organization called ICNIRP. The multinational Telecom Industry has lobbied to weaken our protections in the interest of global "harmonization."  This policy change is strongly opposed by numerous consumer groups, environmental groups, medical professionals and health scientists in the U.S. who have advocated for stronger regulations, not weaker ones, to protect public health.

In 2010, the city of San Francisco adopted a cell phone "right to know" law that is similar to the Belgian Government's new regulations, but after a lengthy legal battle in the Federal courts with the Telecom Industry, the city repealed the law earlier this year.The new regulations by the Belgian government are in response to the International Agency for Research on Cancer's (IARC) declaration that radio frequency radiation is "possiibly carcinogenic" based upon research that finds increased risk of brain cancer due to intensive use of a mobile phone.

Since the IARC declared that cell phone radiation is "possibly carcinogenic" in May, 2011, more evidence of brain cancer risk has been published in the peer-reviewed, scientific literature. The latest study by Lennart Hardell and colleagues in Sweden finds a three-fold increased risk of brain cancer after 25 years of cell phone and cordless phone use. 

The American public needs to learn about the risks of using wireless devices and how to use them safely; otherwise, we may face a major public health crisis in the ensuing decades with the proliferation of these devices in our society.

The Belgian governnment's press release and supporting materials include sections covering frequently asked questions, general information about cell phone and other types of electromagnetic radiation, child leukemia, and electromagnetic hypersensitivity. Although some of the information is misleading in my opinion, it is worth examining.

Belgian Government's Press Release and Supporting Materials:

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

French Health Agency: Cell Phone Radiation Warnings

In a major public announcement today, the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health warned the public to reduce their exposure to cell phone radiation.

The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health, ANSES, announced today the results of a two-year review by an expert Working Group of the scientific research on the risks related to exposure to radiofrequency (RF) radiation.  (1)

“This update has not brought to light any proven health effect and does not result in any proposed new maximum exposure limits for the population. However, limited levels of evidence do point to different biological effects in humans or animals. In addition, some publications suggest a possible increased risk of brain tumour, over the long term, for heavy users of mobile phones. Given this information, and against a background of rapid development of technologies and practices, ANSES recommends limiting the population’s exposure to radiofrequencies – in particular from mobile phones – especially for children and intensive users, and controlling the overall exposure that results from relay antennas.”
“The findings of this expert appraisal are therefore consistent with the classification of radiofrequencies proposed by the World Health Organization’s International  Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as "possibly carcinogenic" for heavy users of mobile phones.In addition, the expert appraisal nevertheless shows, with limited levels of evidence, different biological effects in humans or animals, some of which had already been reported in 2009: these can affect sleep, male fertility or cognitive performance.” (pg. 2)

Due to the health concerns raised by the expert Working Group, ANSES made the following recommendations:

"Therefore, to limit exposure to radiofrequencies, especially in the most vulnerable population groups, the Agency recommends:

- for intensive adult mobile phone users (in talk mode): use of hands-free kits and more generally, for all users, favouring the purchase of phones with the lowest SAR values;

- reducing the exposure of children by encouraging only moderate use of mobile phones;

- continuing to improve characterisation of population exposure in outdoor and indoor environments through the use of measurement campaigns;

- that the development of new mobile phone network infrastructures be subject to prior studies concerning the characterisation of exposures, and an in-depth study be conducted of the consequences of possibly multiplying the number of relay antennas in order to reduce levels of environmental exposure;

- documenting the conditions pertaining at those existing installations causing the highest exposure of the public and investigating in what measure these exposures can be reduced by technical means.

- that all common devices emitting electromagnetic fields intended for use near the body (DECT telephones, tablet computers, baby monitors, etc.) display the maximum level of exposure generated (SAR, for example), as is already the case for mobile phones."  (pg. 3)

The Agency further recommends that children’s exposure should be reduced “by encouraging only moderate use of mobile phones, ideally with hands-free kits and mobile terminals with the lowest SAR values.”

The Agency expressed concern about the potential impact of widespread adoption of 4G, the latest cell phone technology, as this will result in increased overall exposure of the population to microwave radiation.

The Agency recommends that current regulations for cell phones concerning exposure of the population to RF radiation be extended to other devices (e.g cordless phones, tablet computers, baby monitors, etc.), and that these devices display the maximum level of RF radiation generated as is the case with cell phones (e.g., the SAR).

The Agency adopted the recommendations of the Working Group to monitor public exposures to RF radiation and to facilitate research on the long-term health effects of RF exposure, especially from cell phones. 

The issue of hypersensitivity to electromagnetic radiation will be addressed by another expert appraisal that will begin later this year.

Because the Working Group’s review included research published through the end of 2012, it excluded several major studies published this year in peer-reviewed journals. The Group may have adopted stronger recommendations had they reviewed the following studies:

  • In a new case-control study from Sweden, Lennart Hardell and colleagues reported additional evidence for increased brain tumor risk associated with long-term cell phone use—a three-fold risk for glioma was found among those who used cell phones or cordless phones for 25 or more years. (2) 
  • A 2-½ fold increased risk for acoustic neuroma was reported for women in a cohort study in the UK among those who used cell phones for 10 or more years. (3) 
  • Children in a cohort study in South Korea who used cell phones and were exposed to lead were at greater risk of developing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder than lead-exposed children who did not use cell phones. (4)  
  • In a study conducted in China, 30 minutes' exposure to 4G (LTE) cell phone radiation was sufficient to affect brain activity on both sides of adults' brains. (5)


(1) Press Kit. Update of the "Radiofrequencies and Health" expert appraisal.  Oct 15, 2013.

(2) “Brain Cancer Risk Increases with the Amount of Wireless Phone Use: Study.” Sep 25, 2013.

(3) “Cell Phone Use, Acoustic Neuroma and Cancer of the Pituitary Gland.” May 10, 2013.

(4) “Children's Cell Phone Use May Increase Their Risk of ADHD.” Apr 2, 2013.

(5) “LTE Cell Phone Radiation Affects Brain Activity in Cell Phone Users.” Sep 23, 2013.

Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Family and Community Health
School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley

Electromagnetic Radiation Safety
News Releases:
Twitter:                  @berkeleyprc

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Million Women Study: Shoddy Science Does Not Warrant Shoddy Conclusions

Dr. Leszczynski is one of the world's leading biologists who researches the effects of radiofrequency radiation for the Finnish government. At least he did until the Finnish government defunded his laboratory.  He was one of 31 experts invited in 2011 by the World Health Organization's (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer to review the cancer risks of exposure to wireless radiation. The results of this expert review was that WHO classified radiofrequency energy, especially cell phone radiation, as "possibly carcinogenic" in humans (i.e., Group 2B). Dr. Leszczynski has subsequently reported that some of the group wanted a "probably carcinogenic" or Group 2A classification.

Dr. Leszczynski has been writing an occasional column that is published on the Washington Times web site.  For his latest article, he asked six experts including two of the WHO Interphone Study investigators to comment on the United Kingdom's Million Women Study.  His interest in this study is because the study's authors interpreted the absence of evidence for increased brain cancer risk to mean that cell phone radiation does not cause cancer.

One of the experts interviewed for this column was the former director of the WHO's EMF Project. He defends the Million Women Study and argues based on the results that cell phone radiation does not cause cancer.  In contrast, the other five experts including myself criticize the study and dismiss its relevance to the cancer debate.

Despite its shortcomings, the study found significant evidence that cell phone use was associated with increased risk of acoustic neuroma, a rare, non-malignant tumor on the nerve from the ear to the brain.

The Million Women Study … shoddy design … shoddy results … shoddy conclusions

Dariusz Leszczynski, Washington Times Communities, Oct 3, 2013

HELSINKI, Finland, October 3, 2013 —The only two epidemiological cohort studies in existence examining the link between cell phone radiation exposures and brain cancer have embarrassingly poor design.

The two cohorts were established in Denmark and in UK. The original purpose was not to study cell phone radiation effects but other health problems. At some point in designing cohorts, scientists decided to ask questions about cell phone use and, as an aside, to examine brain cancer risk.

The problem is that the questions concerning cell phone use were not well thought out. It seems that epidemiologists did not care at all about details of exposure to cell phone radiation. They just wanted to know it - “roughly”.

In the first cohort, called ‘Danish Cohort’, the information on exposure of persons to cell phone radiation is completely useless for the purpose of determining whether causality exists between radiation exposure and cancer (for details see letters to the British Medical Journal and The Scientist Magazine story).

In the spring of 2013, the results from the second cohort were published  and called The Million Women Study. As seen from the description of the study, its primary goal was to examine the effects of hormone replacement therapy in women over 50 years of age.

This, by design, indicates that the results of this study apply only to a certain sex (females) and age (over 50) group and can not be freely extrapolated to the cell phone users as a whole. Furthermore, period of the exposure to cell phone radiation examined in The Million Women Study is far too short to be relevant when examining causality link between cell phone radiation and cancer.

The information about cell phone radiation exposures obtained for the study was as follows (quote from the study): “Women in the study have been asked twice about mobile phone use. In a survey conducted between 1999 and 2005 (to which about 65% of women recruited in 1996–2001 replied [sic!]), women were asked: ‘About how often do you use a mobile phone?’, and given three options to respond: ‘never’, ‘less than once a day’, ‘every day’; and ‘For how long have you used one?’ (participants were asked to provide total years of use).”

The authors did not obtain information about cell phone usage per day or week. Cell phone users talking on the phone for few minutes or for few hours per week were analyzed together. When considering the latency of brain cancer, the follow-up period was far too short to provide relevant and reliable information. This extremely limited information about the exposures to cell phone radiation is absolutely inadequate to determine whether exposures have, or have not, causal link with cancer.

The inadequacy of the collected the information on the exposure is very disturbing. It is like scientists evaluating the health risk in smokers and not asking how many cigarettes per day someone smokes.

The Million Women Study has shoddy exposure design leading to shoddy results and ending with shoddy conclusions.

The Million Women Study is, similarly with the Danish Cohort, yet another example of the complete failure of epidemiologists to design scientifically relevant study on cell phone radiation and brain cancer.

It is embarrassing to hear that some scientists consider the “epidemiological failure”, called The Million Women Study, as a “well designed” research.

Forbes’ Magazine blogger, Geoffrey Kabat of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, in his recent post says about The Million Women Study: “The strengths of this design are two-fold.  First, it follows the actual temporal sequence, with exposure preceding disease.  Second, since information on exposure is obtained before the onset of illness, this information cannot be biased (distorted) by the presence of illness.”

Indeed, these could be the strengths of the study if the information on exposures was relevant.

Mr. Kabat writes also that: “Because of its large size and prospective design, the Million Women Study results represent an important contribution.”

Big is not always beautiful, especially when one side of the examined equation, the radiation exposure data, are shoddy.

I asked also opinions from the few prominent scientists about The Million Women Study. Here are their opinions, directly as provided via e-mails:

Michael Repacholi, retired Head of the WHO EMF Project, agrees with Geoffrey Kabat that the Million Women Study is a valuable proof of no cancer risk:

“This is a very large, well-conducted cohort study showing no increased incidence of glioma or meningioma with mobile phone use of 10 or more years. However, the study reported a trend of increasing risk of acoustic neuroma. When the results were combined with the Danish cohort study, that had a much larger number of these tumours, no statistical increase was found with mobile phone use of 10 or more years. Aside from the obvious difficulties in accurately assessing people’s exposure to mobile phones, the evidence from well-conducted epidemiological and animal studies is now establishing that mobile phone use does not cause or increase the incidence of head or neck cancers.”

The above opinion of Michael Repacholi should be also viewed in the context of his recent criticism of epidemiology. His opinion was that epidemiology is unable to provide reliable information on causality link between cell phone radiation and brain cancer. As Mr. Repacholi said in his Guest Blog on BRHP: “my concern is that there is an over-reliance on epidemiology studies.”

However, epidemiologists were cautious and did not consider the evidence provided by The Million Women Study to be as great as Kabat and Repacholi thought.

Michael Kundi of the Medical University of Vienna, Austria, considers it a very good idea to use the existing large cohorts to study cell phone radiation and cancer issue. However, he points out that the authors of the Million Women Study did not do a good job:

“It is definitely worthwhile to try and use a large cohort of people that are available for investigations like the cohort of the Million Women Study. This cohort has been used for many important health issues and will continue to be used for a variety of research questions. Having said this, I regret to say that the authors have not put much thought into the issue of mobile phone use and brain tumors. It is almost impossible to study induction of brain tumors because of the short observation period. That is, most if not all of the tumors diagnosed during the follow-up must have already existed at the time of commencing use of a mobile. This leaves us with studying effects on tumor growth rate and/or progression. In the case of glioma the peculiarities of the relationship of incidences with age have to be considered. In this cohort there are only women and they are in a narrow age range of about 60 years. The consequence of this fact is that if mobile phone use leads to an increased growth rate of the tumor and therefore an earlier diagnosis the risk estimate must be low or even less than one (because at older age the incidence is declining). The situation for acoustic neuroma is different because the age-incidence function differs from that of glioma.”

Bruce Armstrong of the Sydney University, Australia, considers that The Million Women Study is insufficient to think of down-grading the IARC classification of cell phone radiation from the current possible carcinogen category to lower one:

“A total of 1,261 primary intracranial neoplasms were diagnosed during follow-up, which is sufficient to make a potentially worthwhile contribution to literature on mobile phone use and brain tumours. Some 50,000 invasive neoplasms at other sites were also diagnosed, which can also contribute to knowledge about the relationship between other cancers and mobile phone use. Of the intracranial tumours investigated (glioma, meningioma, pituitary tumours and acoustic neuroma) only risk of acoustic neuroma was increased in women who were longer term users of a mobile phone. This result is coherent with results from the most recent case-control studies of mobile phone use and acoustic neuroma but not with the absence of increase in risk of acoustic neuroma reported from the Danish cohort study of mobile phone subscribers.  While this study adds to the evidence on the relationship between mobile phone use and intracranial tumours, it does not add sufficiently, in my opinion, to shift in either direction the IARC’s conclusion that there is limited evidence in humans for carcinogenicity of radiofrequency radiation.”

Joel Moskowitz of the University of California at Berkeley has also serious doubts about the design and quality of the outcome of The Million Women Study:

“With regard to investigating the association between cell phone use and subsequent tumor risk (which was not the primary purpose of the “million women” study), this study had several major shortcomings which would undermine its ability to find this association.  First, cell phone use was measured only at the beginning of the study, and it was assessed too crudely to expect to find an association with tumor risk. When women enrolled in the study, they were asked how many years they used a cell phone, and if they did, whether they used it daily or less than daily. The researchers had no follow up assessments to determine whether the women continued to use their cell phones over time so they had to assume that cell phone users continued to use their cell phones. More importantly, the researchers could not assess how much time the women spent on a cell phone either before or during the course of the study so women who used a few minutes almost every day at baseline would be lumped together with women who used their phone a half hour or more per day.  Second, the study failed to assess cordless phone use which likely exceeded cell phone use among these women due to the high cost of cell phone minutes during this period.  Cordless phone use has been found in other research to increase brain tumor risk. Third, brain tumors can take several decades to develop and few women in this study had used their cell phones for ten or more years.  Fourth, about 40% of the 1.3 million women who participated in the study were excluded from the cell phone analyses—most because they failed to provide any cell phone information. This large loss of research participants limits how generalizable the study findings are and could have biased the results. Despite these major shortcomings, the study reported a statistically significant doubling of risk of acoustic neuroma, a tumor on the nerve from the ear to the brain, among those who used cell phones for 10 or more years. Moreover, this association was related to the number of years of cell phone use.”

Mark Elwood, of the University of Auckland in New Zealand is not convinced that the provided evidence is sufficiently reliable to convince the scientists and the general public alike:

“These scientists took the opportunity of asking a few questions about cell phone use in the huge British ‘Million Women’ study, where women attending breast cancer screening clinics were invited. Over the next 10 or more years, women (average age 59) who reported the most use of cellphones had the same risk of developing brain cancers than women who did not use cellphones  at the time that was asked (and also, the same risk of all cancers, and of 18 major types of cancer). So, another of many studies showing no risk from using cellphones, but like all other studies, it can’t prove that there’s no risk. In the many analyses, there was an increased risk of one rather rare tumor, based on only 8 cases; but that was acoustic neuroma, a tumor of the nerve to the ear, and therefore in the high exposure zone from cellphones. And the study doesn’t cover men, younger people, or risks beyond about 10 years. So the debate will continue.”

Elisabeth Cardis, of CREAL-Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Spain and formerly Principal Investigator of the Interphone Project, is cautious and considers results of The Million Women Study as too weak:

“Am a bit surprised at the lack of mention of the acoustic neuroma results in the conclusion - particularly since this and glioma are the two tumour types for which their is currently the most evidence from other studies (including Interphone and the Japanese study). It seems that the first questionnaire about mobile phone use was asked over a long time period 1999-2005 but the follow-up is correctly calculated from the time the questionnaire was asked. Of the 1261 intracranial CNS tumours, 754 occurred among those who reported ever use at first questionnaire.

Only 90 of these, however, were among women who reported using the phone every day and 100 among those who reported 10+ years of use. Numbers get even smaller when the first 3 years of follow-up are excluded - 91 with 10+ years. It would be nice to see results by some form of amount of use, but obviously the information collected is very limited - ever use, daily use and number of years - but perhaps looking at categories of daily use in different periods of time since start … but the numbers would get very small.”

From the above comments of prominent epidemiologists the general conclusion can be drawn that despite the size of The Million Women cohort, the numbers of tumors are small and the information about the cell phone use is nonexistent. Therefore, it is not possible to draw any scientifically reliable conclusions based on the results of The Million Women Study.

Setting up large cohort for epidemiological study is expensive and laborious. That is why it is indeed a very good idea to use the already existing cohorts to examine causality link between cell phone radiation exposures and brain cancer.

However, the radiation exposure information, both the length and the strength/intensity of exposure, must be properly collected. Scientists working on the Danish Cohort and The Million Women Study, failed in the study design. Radiation exposure information collected in both cohorts is shoddy.

It is very disappointing that yet again epidemiologists failed. They used funds to provide us with shoddy studies. What is very worrying is the fact that these studies were published in peer-review journals and are now considered, by some, as “reliable scientific evidence”.

It is simply an embarrassing show of scientific incompetence.