Can Cell Phones Cause Cancer?

by John McKiggan

The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified cell phone radiation as “possibly carcinogenic” placing it in the same category as gasoline exhaust, and the pesticide DDT.

An international panel of 31 scientists and health experts reviewed dozens of previously published studies and concluded that there was “limited” evidence of a link between cellphone use and glioma and acoustic neuroma, a cancer that develops in the nerves leading from the ear to the brain.

WHO recommended:

“Given the potential consequences for public health of this classification and findings, it is important that additional research be conducted into the long-term, heavy use of mobile phones. Pending the availability of such information, it is important to take pragmatic measures to reduce exposure such as hands-free devices or texting.”

Risk Factors

The amount of radiation users are exposed to depends on a number of factors including the number of calls made each day, how close the device is to your head during calls, and how long your calls last.

Reducing the Risk

The report noted some studies have indicated reduced risks for cell phone users who talked less and text more, and those who used a hands-free device to keep the phone away from their heads.

More than 4.6 billion use cellphones worldwide according to the Science Media Centre of Canada. Statistics Canada says that 78 per cent of Canadian households indicated they had a cellphone in 2010.

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