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Issue 476, 4 February 2002

Mobile research

Mobile phones are beginning to rival smoking as a pastime for children, but speculation over their safety remains. A Leeds team is one of 15 groups to receive funding from a new government mobile telecommunications and health research programme to research safety issues.

Professor Ray Cartwright, Dr Trish McKinney and fellow epidemiologists in the Leukaemia Research Fund's centre have been awarded 250,000 to study the incidence of brain tumours and mobile phone usage amongst adults in four areas of the UK. They hope to find out if patients diagnosed with brain tumours have different patterns of mobile use. The study will consider other possible causes of brain tumours.

Professor Cartwright said: "This is an important – and topical – piece of research. Hopefully we can address the ongoing speculation about mobile phones as a possible cause of brain tumours. As yet there is no clear link between them, and other factors – such as exposure to solvents – may be important."

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