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Maternal cell tower exposure in pregnancy similar between early childhood cancer cases and controls

-- Beth Gilbert

Wednesday, June 23, 2010 (Last Updated: 06/24/2010)

WEDNESDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of early childhood cancer does not appear to be linked to a mother's exposure to a mobile phone base station during pregnancy, according to a study published June 22 in BMJ.

In a case control study, Paul Elliott, Ph.D., of Imperial College London, and colleagues evaluated 1,397 children from the 1999 to 2001 national cancer registry, aged 0 to 4 years, with leukemia or a brain or central nervous system tumor, and 5,588 birth controls from the national birth register, individually matched by gender and birth date.

Based on a national database of 76,890 base station antennas identified between 1996 and 2001, the researchers found that the mean distance of registered address at birth from a macrocell base station (1,107 versus 1,073 meters), total power output of base stations within 700 meters of the address (2.89 versus 3.00 kW), and modeled power density (−30.3 versus −29.7 dBm) were not significantly different between the cancer cases and controls.

"Clinicians should reassure patients not to worry about proximity to mobile phone masts. Moving away from a mast, with all its stresses and costs, cannot be justified on health grounds in the light of current evidence," writes the author of an accompanying editorial.

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Specialties Hematology & Oncology

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