Swedish study links music downloads to brain cancer
Possible links between downloaded music files and brain tumours have been identified by researchers at a Swedish university. A reader in Sweden has translated a news story from Sydsvenska Dagbladet outlining the preliminary findings of research carried out at Lund University Hospital and due to be published next month in the American Journal of Epidemiology. The news story which ran on March 28 - see above - reports that the findings are the result of a risk assessment of mobile media devices carried out following the much-publicised 2007 study at Lund University that found a link between mobile phone use and malignant tumours and gliomas. As music contains frequencies orders of magnitude below the electromagnetic frequencies that cause brain tumours, the risk assessment on mobile audio players was considered to be routine. However, researchers found the potentially harmful electromagnetic frequencies present in MP3, iTunes and other downloaded music files.
In the news report Dr Wilhelm Skämt of Lund University says that the presence of the harmful electromagnetic frequencies in downloaded audio files is still being investigated, but is thought to be due to a hyper-Dopler effect generating high-order harmonic products as music frequencies intermodulate with the earth’s magnetic field during transmission across the internet. Research indicates that listening with the headphones and in-ear transducers used with portable media players such as iPods and iPhones present the greatest risk as they transmit dangerous electromagnetic radiation directly to the vulnerable trigeminal nerve.
Sydsvenska Dagbladet stresses that the research findings to be published next month are preliminary rather than definitive. The news report also emphasises that, although the university is a respected authority on the subject, the connection between mobile media devices and malignant tumours is still not accepted in all medical circles. But if a link between music downloads and brain tumours is confirmed, the future pattern of music listening will change dramatically.
With thanks to reader Tommy Bohlin for the heads up and translation. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Also on Facebook and Twitter.