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WHO says cell phones are a cancer risk

Posted: , by Alan F.

WHO says cell phones are a cancer risk
The World Health Organization on Tuesday re-opened the controversial topic on whether or not cell phones can cause cancer in humans. 31 scientists from 14 countries came to the conclusion that radiation from mobile phones is "possibly carcinogenic to humans". Still, not enough long term studies have been conducted to make a definitive connection between cell phones and cancer. Dr. Keith Black, chairman of neurology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, said that it will take a few decades of exposure before, "we really see the consequences."

According to the WHO, the radiation that comes from a cell phone is not like that of an x-ray, but is more like the radiation that comes out of a low-powered microwave oven. Like food cooking in a microwave oven, this radiation cooks the brain leading to the development of cancers and tumors and also possibly having an effect on cognitive memory functions since most people hold their handsets where the memory temporal lobes are located. As we have reported, cell phone radiation is non-ionizing which means it does not directly damage human DNA.

At the University of Pittsburgh, the head of a cancer research institute sent out a memo to employees telling them to limit cell phone usage because of the possible cancer risk. The European Environmental Agency considers cell phones to be at the same carcinogenic risk as leaded gasoline and asbestos. Dr. Henry Lai, research professor in bioengineering at University of Washington, has studied radiation for over 30 years and said that since brain cancer takes a long time to develop, it is a good idea to warn people that long term cell phone usage could possibly lead to cancer.

Some cell phone manufacturers already warn users to keep their handset away from their body. The Apple iPhone 4 manual says, "When using iPhone near your body for voice calls or for wireless data transmission over a cellular network, keep iPhone at least 15 mm away from the body." The guide for the Blackberry Bold tells users to, "keep the BlackBerry device at least 0.98 in. from your body when the BlackBerry device is transmitting."

The largest international study on cell phone radiation was released last year and showed that those using mobile handsets for 10 years had double the rate of brain glioma, a type of tumor. So far, there have been no long term studies on the effect of cell phone radiation on children, although Dr. Black says that with their thinner skulls, radiation can find its way deeper into the brains of youngsters.

We would expect the cell phone industry to fight back with some statements as soon as today. The last word from the industry is that there is no conclusive evidence that radiation from mobile handsets cause cancer.

source: CNN

20 Comments
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posted on 31 May 2011, 13:26 4

1. Yo (unregistered)


I keep my phone in my pocket all the time. Hope my genitals don't catch cancer!

posted on 31 May 2011, 13:30 3

2. Rawrzellers (Posts: 224; Member since: 22 Aug 2010)


They're really trying to make us afraid of everything aren't they? They failed to mention the study that tried to prove this, and actually proved that cell phones prevented Alzheimers. Did you know the sun gives people skin cancer? Guess we'll just have to never go outside and buy super duper special sunscreen :/ There is danger in everything so if you're really concerned about getting cancer from your cell phone then throw it away.

posted on 31 May 2011, 14:21 3

6. Controversy. (unregistered)


The real moral of anything like this is to raise awareness and add some truth to these issues. Even more so, the problem is more or less only going to affect those who heavily use their cellphones. As the same with the Sun, we should not go outside while the Sun is at its brightest and not for extended periods of time.

Moderation.

posted on 31 May 2011, 13:36

3. MorePhonesThanNeeded (unregistered)


Amazing, what else is new? Televisions sets also blast you with radiation, as well as the radio waves that constantly bombard our bodies due to things happening out in space. They just need to stop beating around the bush with these things, I don't want to hear it's cancer causing today, start a worldwide pandemic then 4 years later they retract their statements because their findings proved that it's not really carcinogenic it requires other factors like you standing next to a high powered microwave with it's shielded door broken, while standing on a roof next to a radio tower while watching the worlds largest CRT television...Scientists are always saying things, then coming back to disprove their own claims. Talk about self contradiction...man such a funny creature.

posted on 31 May 2011, 13:59 4

4. Sniggly (Posts: 7113; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


WHO has been incredibly disingenuous with this announcement. Even without any hard evidence at all regarding the potential cancer risks involved with cell phones, they're going to go right ahead and make the announcement. I'm all for science and playing it safe, but sometimes you can be so cautious that your actions become irresponsible.

Although...

iPhone users have less to worry about, because all they have to do is hold their phone the right way and it won't blast them with radiation at all. Oh yes, I went there. Now where's Taco? :)

posted on 31 May 2011, 14:25

7. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6580; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


Do you guys remember Johnny Cochrane? he died from a brain tumor. they say it was his cell phone. If this is true, I don't use my cell phone much always talk on the speaker instead of keeping it close to my head.

posted on 31 May 2011, 14:56

12. JackFace (Posts: 190; Member since: 03 Nov 2009)


You one of THOSE guys who puts it on speaker and holds it somewhat close to the face? When you speak into it, you move it to your mouth, then back to your ear to hear what someone is saying?

posted on 31 May 2011, 14:39

8. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5858; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


There is a difference in meaning (at least in the English language, that is) between the terms 'possibly' and 'are'.... PA's title (using the word are) implies a definite conclusion that was not reached by the IARC (who used the word possibly).

posted on 31 May 2011, 14:39 2

9. steven252000 (Posts: 64; Member since: 10 Feb 2010)


Guess it is time for the commercials to begin: Have you or a loved one developed a brain tumor as a result of using a cell phone? If so you may be intitled to compensation.....Contact the law offices of............ Any and everything we do these days is bad for ya. One day something causes cancer the next day the talk about possible benefits of the same item.

posted on 31 May 2011, 14:51 1

11. r2212xx (Posts: 41; Member since: 18 Apr 2011)


It's everyday new research. A few months ago it was that mobile phones are extremely hazardous. Just stay away from them. Then they said it's good for you. It prevents Alzheimers and premature memory loss. And now we have this.. I hope they make up their mind for once.

posted on 31 May 2011, 15:03 3

13. remixfa (Posts: 13933; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


This article
a) says nothing new. There isnt ANY conclusive evidence one way or another.

b) if you notice the bodies that say they are are also "world" bodies and bodies of very liberal countries. This is a precurser to a new tax on cell phones. Nothing more. They are going to spend a few more years scaring people into thinking they are unsafe so that way they can pass an exise tax on it like tobacco or other "harmful products".

c) if there was REAL evidence we would be hearing from tons of independant DOCTORS and independant institutions, not from government bodies who's only answers are higher taxes and more control over your personal freedoms.

posted on 01 Jun 2011, 10:21

28. V (unregistered)


My friend, it seems to me that you are as dumb as you are stupid. Then you should read more, learn about SAR value and stuff. You all are trying to believe that the phones are not hurting us, just because you cannot see it. That's the reason... You can get cancer now from almost everything, from the food to the shampoo that you're using. So how to blame the cell phones especially?! Really now... Get a life and be serious. Of course the cell manufacturers are paying a lot of money to their own scientists to claim that the radiation does not harm, but that's a big lie. The radiation kills you slowly, same as cigarrets, alcohol and drugs. If it was an immediate effect, I can ensure you that it would have been dramatical as you would like to hear about.

posted on 31 May 2011, 15:36

15. networkdood (Posts: 6274; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Hmm, I wonder if we paint the phones using lead-based paints will that lessen the effects of radiation.

posted on 31 May 2011, 18:08

19. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5858; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Yeah, painting the phones with lead-based paint might reduce the radiation exposure that possibly is hazardous, but it would increase exposure to a hazard (lead) that definitely is hazardous.... :-)

posted on 31 May 2011, 16:44 2

16. luis_lopez_351 (Posts: 951; Member since: 18 Nov 2010)


This is stupid. Everything can give you cancer, also we all have a little cancer, our cells do not come out perfect every time mitosis is performed.

posted on 31 May 2011, 21:12

23. KIANO (Posts: 67; Member since: 13 Feb 2011)


Duh!...Bluetooth headsets.

posted on 01 Jun 2011, 01:14

25. droidnator (Posts: 87; Member since: 10 Mar 2011)


Don't be stupid folks. We all like mobiles, but ignorance is your worst enemy. Cell phones COULD BE carcinogenic, because like any electronic device they emit some radiation. And since that's their main purpose - to connect wirelessly, they emit a lot, but you think that just because we like cell phones they are safe, they are our friends? Maybe they are. Or maybe they are slowly killing us. Noone knows for sure yet, but don't dismiss the notion that they are a potential hazard, because they are. In the 60s cigarettes were also considered good for you. Conclusive evidence of the opposite came decades later!

posted on 01 Jun 2011, 09:57

27. joey18 (Posts: 521; Member since: 20 Jul 2010)


now they have to put something inthe phone to fix the radiation is my opinion

posted on 01 Jun 2011, 17:31

30. hammertong (Posts: 25; Member since: 10 May 2010)


Just another bunch of lab rats looking for a megabux gov't grant.

posted on 01 Jun 2011, 19:25

31. Pol (unregistered)


My small contribution:
http://www.j-alz.com/press/2010/20100106.html

Best known as "Cell Phone Exposure May Protect Against and Reverse Alzheimer’s Disease"

So... what’s the deal ?

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