Asset Publisher


Elisabeth Cardis
The very rapid worldwide increase in mobile phone use in the last decade has generated considerable interest in the possible health effects of exposure to radio frequency (RF) fields. A multinational case-control study, INTERPHONE, was set-up by the International Agency for Research on Cancer to investigate whether mobile phone use increases the risk of cancer and, more specifically, whether the RF fields emitted by mobile phones are carcinogenic.

The study focused on tumours arising in the tissues most exposed to RF fields from mobile phones: glioma, meningioma, acoustic neurinoma and parotid gland tumours. In addition to a detailed history of mobile phone use, information was collected on a number of known and potential risk factors for these tumours. The study was conducted in 13 countries. Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and the UK using a common core protocol.

The study includes approximately 2600 gliomas, 2300 meningiomas, 1100 acoustic neurinomas, 400 parotid gland tumours and their respective controls. This is by far the largest epidemiologicalstudy of these tumours to date (Cardis, Richardson et al, 2007). Particular attention was paid to estimating the amount and direction of potential recall and participation biases and their impact on the study results.

Results of national analyses of the relation between mobile phone use and risk of specific tumour types in some of the participating countries have been published (Christensen et al 2004, 2005 Hepworth et al, 2006 Hours et al, 2007 Klaeboe et al, 2007 Lahkola et al, 2007, 2008 Lonn et al, 2004, 2005, 2006 Sadetzki et al, 2007 Schlehofer et al, 2007 Schoemaker et al, 2006 Schuz et al, 2006 Takebayashi et al, 2006, 2008). A summary of the results can be found at:

Results of the international analyses are expected to be published shortly.


Our Team

Principal Investigator (PI)

Our Team

  • Martine Vrijheid
    Martine Vrijheid Research Professor and Head of the Environment and Health over the Lifecourse Programme

Other projects

See Past Projects


Occupational exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields: From exposure assessment to study of health in workers and their offspring