Think the new University of Auckland study proves there is no cancer risk from cell phone use? Read this!

New Zealand has done it again.

In the same great tradition that has seen NZ “punching above its weight” and besting “overseas experts”  a new paper from a group of researchers at the University of Auckland is being promoted as showing that there’s no connection between cell phones and brain tumours.
Somehow, this one study (which is based on statistics from the New Zealand National Cancer Registry) disproves many other international studies that definitely show a link between cell phones and brain tumours.

Never mind that the NZ researchers chose a cohort of people (those diagnosed with brain tumours between 1995 and 2010) who would have been very unlikely to have been using cell phones for long enough for an increased risk in cell-phone induced cancer to become apparent…

No, prior research and good sense be damned, the University of Auckland still boldly goes where no sensible university would dare to go and announces in its press release: “Mobile phones not causing an increase in brain tumours”.

To be fair, one of the study’s authors did state that  “a study of this type cannot exclude a small risk, or one limited to a certain subtype of cancers, or a risk only arising after more than about 15 years of phone use.” [Emphasis added]

That’s honest, because his own paper admits that in 1995 only about 10% of the NZ population had a cell phone subscription and by 2000 only about 40% of New Zealanders had a cell phone subscription.  By 2009, 85% of New Zealanders had a cellular phone.   However, few New Zealanders who had used cell phones by 2010 (the cut off date for the study) would have been long-term cell phone users (fifteen years or more) by that time.

It is salutary to contrast the new study from the University of Auckland with a major study by Lennart Hardell and Michael Carlberg published in 2014, which showed a significant increase in glioma (a common type of brain tumour) for people who used both mobile and cordless phones.

The 2014 study (published in the journal Pathophysiology) showed that the brain tumour risk was highest after 25 years of mobile phone use and after 15-20 years of cordless phone use.


 This is but one of many other studies showing a link between cell phone use and brain (and other) tumours.

 Links to more studies are below:


It is now indisputable that radiofrequency (RF) radiation in the microwave range such is produced by cordless and mobile phones, cordless phone bases and cell phone towers has been classified by the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer as a “possible carcinogen” (type 2B).

It would be foolish to rely upon the new study from the University of Auckland as assuring the safety of mobile and cellular phones when there is good quality research that shows a risk.

For ideas on how to minimise health risks when using cell phones and other modern technology, please see this link:


NB:  If you are concerned about wireless devices and health you may like to sign up to the free email list at



 The University of Auckland press release may be read below:

Mobile phones not causing increase in brain tumours
25 February 2015Embargoed until 2am on 26 February 2015Mobile phones not causing increase in brain tumours

The risk of brain tumours has not changed significantly with increased mobile phone use, according to new research from the University of Auckland.In a paper just published in the Australia and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, on the trends in primary brain cancer incidence in New Zealand between 1995 and 2010, research led by cancer epidemiologist, Professor Mark Elwood, showed no general increase in brain tumours.Professor Elwood says there have been concerns about whether the use of mobile phones could lead to an increase in the frequency of brain tumours.“Several major international studies have suggested either no risk or a slightly increased risk in high users, while some others have suggested substantial risks,” he says.His team examined the frequency (yearly incidence) of brain cancers, both in total and in those sub-types highlighted in some other studies, in New Zealand from 1995 to 2010, using data from the New Zealand national cancer registry.“There has been no general increase,” says Professor Elwood. “In fact, for the wide age range 10 to 69 years, there has been a decrease of about one percent per year.”
“This adds to the evidence against there being a substantial increased risk in mobile phone users. This is consistent with most, but not all, similar studies done in other countries,” he says.Professor Elwood says these studies together suggest that previous reports of large increases in risk in mobile phone users are likely to be incorrect.“But a study of this type cannot exclude a small risk, or one limited to a certain subtype of cancers, or a risk only arising after more than about 15 years of phone use,” he says.“We have no explanation for the decrease in brain cancers in New Zealand,” says Professor Elwood.  “In people aged over 70 years, there was an increase in some types of brain cancer.  This has been seen in other countries and is likely to relate to improved diagnosis.”

The research team included research student, Stella Kim, research fellow Sally Ioannides and Professor Elwood who is a professor in the cancer epidemiology section of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the School of Population Health, University of Auckland.