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WHO: Cell Phone Emissions May Cause Cancer

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Radio-frequency electromagnetic fields classified as “possibly carcinogenic” to humans…

By Posted Jun 2, 2011

Cell phones have become such an integral part of our daily lives that it’s natural to want to dismiss warning of potential health hazards associated with their use. But a new advisory issued from the World Health Organization may cause us to reconsider how we use cell phones, and whether these devices should be used at all by young people.

Evidence from research by 31 scientists indicates that electromagnetic fields, such as those emitted by wireless communication, could be harmful to human health.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the World Health Organization’s cancer research institute, said there is mounting evidence for the new classification of radio-frequency electromagnetic fields as “possibly carcinogenic” to humans, based on an increased risk of glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer which starts in the brain or spine, associated with wireless phone use.

Dr. Jonathan Samet, a University of Southern California professor who was chairman of IARC’s working group, told reporters May 30, “The bottom line, after reviewing essentially all the evidence that is relevant to looking at radio-frequency electronic magnetic fields, the Working Group classified radio-frequency electronic magnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans.”

“…after reviewing essentially all the evidence that is relevant to looking at radio-frequency electronic magnetic fields, the Working Group classified radio-frequency electronic magnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans”

Before discarding your cell phone, however, bear in mind that these are preliminary findings which indicate a possible link between cell phone use and cancer. The findings are considered “Group 2B” status, which are flagged for further research. The findings of current studies to date do not place cell phone use in the “carcinogenic” or “possibly carcinogenic” categories.

While the science is not complete, cell phone users are advised to take precautions when using their devices.

IARC’s decision, supported by a vast majority of members of the working group, did not quantitate the risk, but flagged results of an IARC study showing a 40 per cent increased risk for gliomas in the highest category of cellphone users. This was calculated as a reported average use of 30 minutes per day over a 10-year period.

Pending the availability of additional information, IARC director Christopher Wild said “it is important to take pragmatic measures to reduce exposure,” such as hands-free devices or texting.

To learn how to reduce your exposure to radiation while using your cell phone, read our article: Six Tips for Safer Cell Phone Use.

Posted in Science and Transportation Tags , , , ,
  • Jandutech

    I never thought that Cell phones can be so dangerous. After going through this article I would be thinking for reducing my cell phone usage as I am just addicted to it very badly. I hope I’ll be able to make up mind for his. keep Posting the valuable and informative information.

  • alvin

    Radiation is very dangerous and it cause cancer if we not be aware in using our cellphones. thanks for this article that give us information to prevent our health specially our children. To all cellphone users, stay healthy and eat a right food to avoid cancerous.

  • This is like the news story of the month… I keep hearing references to this everywhere, from friends and family to blogs and podcasts and tv shows.

    I'd heard rumors of this sort YEARS ago, I remember advising my girlfriend not to sleep with her cellphone so close to her, etc. This was in 2002-ish. Over the years as cell phone use became more prevalent, I started forgetting about it and just generally accepting them as safe. Of course now the truth comes out…. yikes.


  • Max Polanski

    Wow that is not good news. Hopefully one day technology will evolve to be able to stop cell phones from causing cancer. Well anyways, it's a good thing I like to text more than talk.

  • matt freeman

    It is better to use head phones when making and receiving calls. Though they haven't really confirmed it yet but it is better to have precautions.

  • manny

    I think this is a bigger story than the article lets on. Putting a radiation device against your head for long periods is going to effect brain cells. I feel sorry for the people whove been using these phones for work and have lots of hours of direct radiation.

  • Dhanashri

    Yes, but Now a days everyone use a cellphone most of young people use it more than other.So we have to take some precaution for that……Thank you for this information. The information is very useful for all people.

  • rakib

    Radiation can create this type of cancer I can't know.thanks for give me this important news.

  • Cell phones already killed cockroaches, affected bees, etc. so human is in the queue as well.

  • Kathy P

    I have heard this before about the cellphone dangers. We probably will not have complete evidence until years down the road. What is the impact of the bluetooth devise?

  • Plastic

    i’ve been reading about this topic for roughly a week now and have seriously cut down my cell phone usage. I know this study has been out there for years but cell phone useage has increased heavily over the years. i think everyone should start to pay attention and make a real effort to cut down their useage (or just text more often 🙂 )

  • Arvonne

    This does not come as a surprise. Signals delivered by wireless frequencies carry messages across the globe. Surely the frequencies influence the brain, only a few inches from the cell phone.
    Nobody wants to carry this story because it's "inconvenient" news. Good on you for posting this.

  • astrogogi

    i agree your thought. Now a days, people spend much time talking on the phone but they don’t know its dangerous.

  • That is the reason I'm mostly using sms to chat

  • People can’t stop talking or using cell phones unless makers of these devices stop manufacturing them.

  • Burrows

    Seems to be very little media coverage or follow up on this, no surprise when you see the big advertisements from the phone makers all over. Thanks for picking this up, and for giving options for safe use. My guess is that soon new research will come out challenging these results, and the research will be funded by the manufacturers. Obfuscate, delay, deny as long there is lots of money to be made!

  • Fernando Yray

    thank you for the information, i will share it with my friends and my family, the bad impact of the frequent use of the cellphone.

  • Jack Kieffer

    Very interesting… I am going to cut down on my cell phone use. Thanks for the info…

  • Simon T.

    I believe nowadays they sell special devices that eliminate the dangerous emissions. Cell phones, though, are such a necessity that I guess we can count them as the next must-have not-so-healthy item in our lives.

  • milkshake makers

    This scares me i do use cell phones a lot and sleep with my cell phone next to my head!

  • John

    I hope this is not true. I use a cell phone all the time. Most people do. I am not surprised. Isn’t this great lol

  • iphone

    i think that, cellphone is the better of the communication medium but more than 50min talk cellphone then a lot and sleep with my cell phone next to my head!

  • edarabia

    The dangers of radiation are only now being analyzed. It's bizarre to know we're all being affected by this

  • Thyroid blog

    Most young people use their cell phones all the time. Cell phones are entertainment devises now that also have more and more features such as social media integration, games, internet, email etc. All this encourages to use it more… and manufactures seams to care more about sales than about health risks.

  • Hi nice your blog and this post is very usefull thanks

  • Ennove designs

    I read somewhere else that excessive talking over cell phone does damage our brains,and reading your article now I am horrified,my work type needs few hours of cell phone talking everyday,and now I am really horrified…..

    • Greg Seaman

      I think you should be concerned but there are definately safe steps you can take which enable you to continue using your cell phone at work. If you read the safe use tips article you will see some techniques for using the phone in relative safey.

  • John

    I don’t believe that cellphones are really that dangerous. If you spend enough time reading various studies online, you’ll reach the conclusion that everything can cause cancer under some circumstances or the other. Just enjoy your smartphone… it’s unlikely that it will be the reason why you’ll have health problems.

  • Maria Hayes

    I don't believe this. Everyone is using cell phone nowadays and its the part of life and manufactured on a very large scale including accessories etc. so the manufacturers should keep in mind safety measures as well as utilities. However excess of everything is bad.

  • Bob

    This made the news back in 1999, I remember it from when I was in high school! Why is eveyone acting like this is new?
    Come on people this is like that smoking thing, I've seen ads in comic books from 1962 saying cigarettes cause cancer and then have met people who started smoking in the mid sixtys and who say no one knew cigarettes caused cancer back then.
    Wake up people! At the rate we're going we won't really start to get this till celebraties die of brain cancer in 2026!

    • Greg Seaman

      The roots of denial run deep, don't they?

  • BIAP

    The IARC says that high frequency radiation e.g. from use of cell phones can possible cause cancer, however it is not proofed until now. But it is better to reduce the usage of cellphones and similar devices.

  • Casandra

    cell phone can be used just some times. continuously using causes some problem like cancer and effects in ear also so it should be used in proper way ….

  • knshah

    Now a days in the coming generation the cell phones have become normal thing. So this awareness regarding the cancer of ears can occur. Also when cell is on low battery it transmits maximum radiations which affects the brain n causes insomnia. So good work by u by spreading awareness..!

  • personal trainer

    I guess we will know when its too late, like the mad cows disease saga.

  • A steak also MAY cause cancer. But on serious note basically anything that emits radio waves has the potential to cause cancer. The microwave is one example of such a thing. It you are THAT worried then it it wise to stop using them all together and be constantly out of touch and eat cold food for the rest of your life. Cancers have many determining factors and we don’t know what they all are but one thing is for sure. Most people that have cell phone don’t develop cancer.

Blog > Science and Transportation > WHO: Cell Phone Emissions May Cause Cancer