'No child cancer link to phone masts'

LIVING close to a mobile phone mast does not increase the chance of young children developing cancer, a major UK study has found.

Researchers looked at almost 7,000 children across Britain and found those who developed cancer aged four or younger were no more likely to have a birth address close to a mast than their peers. The study included 1,397 children aged up to four who were registered with leukaemia or a tumour in the brain or central nervous system between 1999 and 2001.

The proximity of each birth address to a mast was compared with that of four healthy children of the same gender who were born on the same day, chosen randomly to act as controls.

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Professor Paul Elliott, the study's lead author, said: "People are worried that living near a mobile phone mast might affect their children's health.

"We looked at this question with respect to risk of cancers in young children. We found no pattern to suggest the children of mums living near a base station during pregnancy had a greater risk of developing cancer than those who lived elsewhere."

The study was published on the website of the BMJ medical journal.