Cell Phones Declared “Possibly Carcinogenic” to Humans

For years, industry and government groups in the U.S. have denied any cancer risk posed by the radiation that is transmitted by cell phones. Earlier this week, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a branch of the World Health Organization (WHO), issued a press release confirming what foreign researchers have been suggesting over the last decade: cell phone radiation may cause cancer.

Specifically, IARC says that the radiofrequency electromagnetic fields to which cell phone users are exposed are “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” The assessment is based upon the agency’s research showing an increased risk of glioma (a malignant brain cancer) posed by cell phone use. The press release classifies the level of evidence available on the link at this stage as “limited,” meaning that “a positive association has been observed between exposure to the agent and cancer for which a causal interpretation is considered” but that “chance, bias or confounding” cannot yet be ruled out.

Experts advise the cell phone users can reduce exposure by keepoing their devices away from their bodies — usually 1 inch away from the ear — whenever the device is transmitting. Also, users can text instead of talk and should be mindful that there is more radiation being transmitted the harder the device is working to obtain a signal. So, cell users should avoid using their phones in areas where their signals are weak, such as elevators and rural areas.