According to new research that appeared in the American Journal of Epidemiology, using a mobile phone for several hours a day increases the risk of developing cancer in the salivary gland.

Researchers at Tel Aviv University compared the mobile phone usage of 500 Israelis with the condition to 1,300 healthy adults. Those that used a mobile phone for several hours a day were 50 per cent more likely to have developed a salivary gland tumour.

"Compared to other studies, the amount of exposure to radiofrequency radiation we saw here was much higher. If you like, you're seeing what could happen elsewhere 'speeded-up' in Israel," said Dr Siegal Sadetzki who led the research.

The survey also identified that users in rural areas possibly face a higher risk that those in cities, as mobile phones in areas without strong signals need to emit more radiation to work properly. However, Dr Sadetzki stressed one study was not enough to prove a link, and that further research was needed.

There have been numerous studies into mobile phones affect on our health, although none have found conclusive evidence. Last year the UK Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Programme released its findings of a six-year £8.8 million survey into the link between mobile phones and cancer, and concluded there was no evidence that using a mobile for less than ten years was linked to brain cancer, and mobile phone signals did not alter brain function or were not linked to cases of electrical hypersensitivity.

Ed Yong, health information manager at Cancer Research UK, said: "Mobile phones are a relatively recent invention and new research into any possible health risks is welcome. However, it's important to remember that the vast majority of studies so far have found that mobile phones do not increase the risk of any type of cancer. Even this study found no overall link between mobile phone use and salivary gland cancers even among heavy users."