Mobile phone towers, which are usually positioned on housetops in India, are in way connected to the risk of early childhood cancers nor the mother’s exposure to mobile phone base stations during pregnancy.
This conclusion has been arrived following a study that investigated the risk of early childhood cancers associated with the mother’s exposure to radiofrequency from and proximity to macrocell mobile phone base stations (masts) during pregnancy.
The researchers analyzed 1397 cases of cancer in children aged 0-4 from national cancer registry 1999-2001 and 5588 birth controls from national birth register, individually matched by sex and date of birth.
They looked for incidence of cancers of the brain and central nervous system, leukaemia, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas, and all cancers combined, adjusted for small area measures of education level, socioeconomic deprivation, population density, and population mixing.
Mean distance of registered address at birth from a macrocell base station, based on a national database of 76 890 base station antennas in 1996-2001, was similar for cases and controls as was total power output of base stations within 700 m of the address and modelled power density.
For modelled power density at the address at birth, compared with the lowest exposure category the adjusted odds ratios were 1.01 (95% confidence interval 0.87 to 1.18) in the intermediate.
1.02 (0.88 to 1.20) in the highest exposure category for all cancers (P=0.79 for trend), 0.97 (0.69 to 1.37) and 0.76 (0.51 to 1.12), respectively, for brain and central nervous system cancers (P=0.33 for trend), and 1.16 (0.90 to 1.48) and 1.03 (0.79 to 1.34) for leukaemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (P=0.51 for trend), the study found.
The study was led by Paul Elliott, professor of epidemiology and public health medicine, head of department, director, MRC-HPA centre for environment and health.
Prof Elliott’s team included Mireille B Toledano, senior lecturer in epidemiology, J Bennett, research fellow, L Beale, research fellow, K de Hoogh, senior research officer, N Best, professor of statistics and epidemiology, D J Briggs, professor, chair in environmental and health sciences, school of public health.