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Finnish study points to possible cancer link

WASHINGTON-A new Finnish study concludes mobile phone radiation could lead to cancer by undermining the blood-brain barrier’s ability to block out carcinogens and other potentially harmful substances. The research, led by Prof. Darius Leszcynski at Finland’s Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority and published in the May issue of the scientific journal Differentiation, has received widespread media coverage in the United Kingdom.

Leszcynski will present his paper next week at the Bioelectromagnetics Society’s annual conference in Quebec, Canada next week.

The scientific findings come at a time when a Baltimore federal judge is considering whether an $800 million brain cancer lawsuit against the wireless industry should go to trial. A ruling by U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake is due by the end of the summer.

Eight other phone-cancer lawsuits are pending against mobile phone firms in Washington, D.C., Nevada and California, while an appeal of cancer decision won by industry is being briefed in Illinois state court. Four of the phone-cancer suits name as a defendant global giant Vodafone, which briefly noted the litigation in its annual report.

Also before Blake are a handful of class action lawsuits against the wireless industry. The suits target industry for failing to make radiation-reducing headsets standard equipment accompanying mobile phones purchased by consumers.

Blake’s office this week said a ruling on whether to return the headset cases to state courts is expected within the next 30 days.

Meanwhile, a hearing is set for July 10 in a potentially precedent-setting case pending before California’s Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board. Sharesa Price alleges her brain cancer was caused by programming mobile phones for a U.S. Cellular Inc. agent.

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