Study type: Epidemiological study (observational study)

[Cellular telephone relay stations and cancer incidence]. epidem.

Mobilfunkbasisstationen und Krebshäufigkeit in Bayern.

Published in: Umweltmed Forsch Prax 2006; 11 (2): 89-97

Aim of study (acc. to author)

The possible association between cellular telephone relay stations and the incidence of malignant cancer was investigated in an ecological study conducted in Germany.

Further details

Exposure to cellular telephone relay stations was assessed by the surrogate base station coverage. The municipalities were classified into three categories:
1) no base station coverage: the distance of all base stations was more than 400 m to the municipality area, or the operating time of the base station was less than 5 years;
2) moderate base station coverage: operating time at least 8 years and at least 15 % of the municipality area was in the distance of 400m or less to the next base station; or, the operating time lasted 5 to 7 years and at least 30 % of the municipality area in the distance of 400m or less to the next base station;
3) low base station coverage: municipalities that could not be assigned to the other categories.

Endpoint/type of risk estimation

Type of risk estimation: (standardized incidence rate (SIR))

Exposure

Assessment

Exposure groups

Group Description
Reference group 1 no base station coverage
Group 2 low base station coverage
Group 3 moderate station station coverage

Population

Study size

Type Value
Total 177,428
Other:

242508 person years

Statistical analysis method:

Conclusion (acc. to author)

1116 malignant tumors were registered in the observed municipalities.
No elevated cancer incidence was found in municipalites with cellular telephone relay stations. The cancer incidence was highly variable in areas without any cellular telephone relay station. No association between base stations and the occurence of tumor types thought to be sensible for radiation effects was observed.
The authors concluded that the high variance of cancer incidence in towns without a cellular telephone relay station qualifies reports about local cancer clusters in the surrounding of such base stations.

Limitations (acc. to author)

The observation period added up to only two years since the Bavarian cancer registry started in 2002 to collect area-widely data about cancer incidence.

Study funded by

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