An epidemiological study has recently been carried out by researcher Jinyoung Moon*, with the aim of establishing a potential correlation between the exposure of the population to radiation emitted by mobile phones and the observed increase in certain types of brain tumors in South Korea. The results, published in early March 2023 in Environmental Research journal, confirm the international trend seen in other countries such as France, with a fourfold increase in 30 years in glioblastomas (the most serious cancers of the brain).

In order to estimate the impact of mobile phones in the occurrence of brain tumors, the South Korean scientist relied on the national mobile phone subscription rate, used as an approximation for the exposure assessment to electromagnetic waves. The researcher thus analyzed the incidence of certain tumors, both benign and malignant, by brain region and for the entire population of South Korea.

Brain tumors on the rise in South Korea

Data used in the study comes from statistics issued from the International Telecom Union (ITU), showing the evolution of the number of subscriptions taken out by the South Korean population – from 0 subscription per 100 people in 1991 to 57 subscriptions in 2000, then to 135 subscriptions in 2019. Regarding the incidence of tumours, the statistics come from the Central Registery of the National Cancer Center in South Korea. The study focuses on three different types of benign tumors (D32, D33 and D32.0 according to the ICD-10 International Classification), as well as three different types of malignant tumors (C71.0, C71.1, C71.2 ), increasing in the country between 1999 and 2018, as reported in the table below, taken from the publication.

Tableau d'incidence des tumeurs cérébrales en Corée du Sud

Table from the study, reporting the evolution of the incidence of different types of brain tumors in South Korea between 1999 and 2018

A proven correlation between exposure to waves and the incidence of brain tumors

Results published show high correlation coefficients between exposure to mobile phone radiation and incidence of brain cancers, measured at 0.75, 0.85 and 0.84, depending on the regions of the brain involved. Indeed, the closer the coefficient is to 1, the stronger the correlation. In addition, the study also revealed that the increase in benign brain tumors could also be linked to exposure to waves from our smartphones.

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According to Jinyoung Moon, “it’s better to keep your phone away from your body”

“The results of this study are consistent with the results of exposure assessments that show that the frontal and temporal lobes receive the most electromagnetic radiation when using a cell phone. Using Bluetooth earphones or speakerphone, and keeping the phone away from the body can significantly reduce the risk of health problems. Furthermore, during the night, it’s best to keep the phone below the waist instead of on the nightstand.”

WHO facing an increase in brain cancers

“We hope this study will serve as a trigger”

According to Dr. Marc Arazi, president of the Phonegate Alert NGO behind the revelations surrounding this major health and industrial scandal:
“While we have been warning for years about the health hazards of exposure to electromagnetic radiation from mobile phones, as well as the lack of truly protective international regulations for users, this South Korean study turns contradicts those who claim the opposite, first of all the industrialists of the sector. We hope that it will serve as a trigger for the public authorities to finally take up this problem in a serious way. The impacts on health are increasingly recognized scientifically, so it is high time that the health authorities put in place measures that truly protect the health of users and put an end to falsely reassuring discourse.”
* Jinyoung Moon, Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Inha University Hospital, Inhang-ro 27, Jung-gu, Incheon, 22332, South Korea ; Department of Environmental Health Science, Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Gwanak-ro 1, Gwanak-gu, Seoul, 08826, South Korea
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