“Mobile phones are a brain cell killer,” reported The Sun. The newspaper claimed that a study of hundreds of mobile users found that the signals emitted during calls can cause a 7% rise in chemical changes in the brain. It said that these may boost the chances of developing cancer. Other papers also reported the study in a more balanced way.
The laboratory-based study recruited 47 healthy volunteers who had their brain activity measured while they had mobile phones fixed to both sides of their head. One of the handsets received a call on silent for 50 minutes. Brain scans showed there was a 7% increase in brain activity in the area closest to that phone’s antenna.
The Sun over-interpreted the findings of this study and put an alarming spin on it that is not supported by the findings. The study did not show that mobile phones kill brain cells or cause cancer. The size of the effect was small, and the researchers themselves say that the findings are of “unknown clinical significance”. They state that it is not possible to tell from their findings whether or not these effects are harmful. Further research is needed.