A WHO agency cities a possible link between brain cancer and cell phone use
For the first time, an agency of The World Health Organization says cell phone radiation may be carcinogenic,
Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields from mobile phones may cause cancer in humans, a World Health Organization agency said today, citing a review of studies.
Exposure from handsets is greater than that from mobile- phone towers and base stations, Dr. Robert Baan, the senior scientist in charge of the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s report on the subject, said on a conference call. Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields are “possibly” cancer- causing, according to the IARC, based in Lyon, France, which evaluates cancer risks and makes recommendations to government authorities.
“There is some evidence for an increased risk of glioma,” or brain cancer, said Kurt Straif, head of the IARC Monographs Program. “It’s not at the moment clearly established that the use of mobile phones does in fact cause cancer.
Here (slightly condensed) is the press release from the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer:
IARC CLASSIFIES RADIOFREQUENCY ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS AS POSSIBLY CARCINOGENIC TO HUMANS
Lyon, France, May 31, 2011 ‐‐
The WHO/International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B), based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer, associated with wireless phone use.
Over the last few years, there has been mounting concern about the possibility of adverse health effects resulting from exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields, such as those emitted by wireless communication devices. The number of mobile phone subscriptions is estimated at 5 billion globally.
From May 24–31 2011, a Working Group of 31 scientists from 14 countries has been meeting at IARC in Lyon, France, to assess the potential carcinogenic hazards from exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields. These assessments will be published as Volume 102 of the IARC Monographs, which will be the fifth volume in this series to focus on physical agents, after Volume 55 (Solar Radiation), Volume 75 and Volume 78 on ionizing radiation (X‐rays, gamma‐rays, neutrons, radio‐nuclides), and Volume 80 on non‐ionizing radiation (extremely low‐frequency electromagnetic fields).
The IARC Monograph Working Group discussed the possibility that these exposures might induce long‐term health effects, in particular an increased risk for cancer. This has relevance for public health, particularly for users of mobile phones, as the number of users is large and growing, particularly among young adults and children. Continue reading