Go to top of page

New study finds no link between mobile phone use and salivary gland tumours

24 May 2021

A study conducted by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) and the University of Auckland has found no link between mobile phone use and salivary gland cancers.

Published in the scientific journal, Cancer Epidemiology, the study looked at the number of parotid and other salivary gland cancers occurring in Australia from 1982 to 2016, which coincides with the rise of mobile phone use among the general population. 

‘When using a mobile phone against the head, the salivary glands and especially the parotid gland, which is located in front of the ear, are amongst the most exposed areas of the body,’ said Adjunct Associate Professor, Ken Karipidis. 

‘The 34 years of data analysed in the study does not indicate that mobile phone use has increased the incidence of parotid or other salivary gland cancers,’ said Adj Assoc Prof, Ken Karipidis.

The study did observe an increase in parotid gland cancer in females since 2006, however, due to similar radio wave absorption and mobile usage rates for males and females, other factors specifically related to females may be the cause. 

‘This increase highlights the need for more research into the cause of parotid gland cancer, and any factors that may impact the sexes differently,’ said Adj Assoc Prof, Ken Karipidis. 

The findings of the study remain consistent with the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) assessment that exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic energy within international safety limits has no adverse health effects on the human body. 

Australian safety limits were recently updated and are aligned with international limits.

The study is freely available until early July on the Science Direct website