WHO says cellphones could increase cancer risk
The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer found that radiation emitted by our cellphones could be as carcinogenic as lead, engine exhaust and chloroform.
Thirty-one scientists -- including two Canadians -- assessed hundreds of studies of cancer in humans, as well as experimental studies on animals and other data. Their verdict: radiofrequency electromagnetic fields emitted by cellphones are "possibly carcinogenic." That means there's some evidence linking cell phones to cancer, but that more research is needed to make strong conclusions. Still, worrisome news for the more than five-billion cellphone users worldwide.
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IARC's panel concluded that cellphones may pose a health risk for two types of brain tumours - glioma and acoustic neuroma, but that the research was "inadequate" when it comes to other types of cancer. And of course, cellphones didn't become hugely popular until five to ten years ago, prompting the lead researcher of the massive study, Canadian Elisabeth Cardis, to note that most of the people in the study "were not heavy users by today's standards."
Industry has always insisted that cellphones are safe, but also recommends that people use ear pieces instead of holding phones close to the head, and that people text more. Most manuals that accompany cellphones recommend users hold the device at least one inch from the head -- something that no one I know does.
Today's study also pointed out that we need cancer research into children's use of cellphones. No kidding.