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Tuesday, 31 May 2011

World Health Organization - Radiation from cell phones can cause cancer - now lists mobile phone "carcinogenic hazard" -

World Health Organization - Radiation from cell phones can cause cancer - now lists mobile phone "carcinogenic hazard" - 

Radiation from cell phones can possibly cause cancer, according to the World Health Organization. The agency now lists mobile phone use in the same "carcinogenic hazard" category as lead, engine exhaust and chloroform.


Before its announcement Tuesday, WHO had assured consumers that no adverse health effects had been established.


A team of 31 scientists from 14 countries, including the United States, made the decision after reviewing peer-reviewed studies on cell phone safety. The team found enough evidence to categorize personal exposure as "possibly carcinogenic to humans."


What that means is that right now there haven't been enough long-term studies conducted to make a clear conclusion if radiation from cell phones are safe, but there is enough data showing a possible connection that consumers should be alerted.


"The biggest problem we have is that we know most environmental factors take several decades of exposure before we really see the consequences," said Dr. Keith Black, chairman of neurology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.


The type of radiation coming out of a cell phone is called non-ionizing. It is not like an X-ray, but more like a very low-powered microwave oven.


"What microwave radiation does in most simplistic terms is similar to what happens to food in microwaves, essentially cooking the brain. So in addition to leading to a development of cancer and tumors, there could be a whole host of other effects like cognitive memory function, since the memory temporal lobes are where we hold our cell phones."


The voices urging caution to consumers have gotten louder in recent years.


The European Environmental Agency has pushed for more studies, saying cell phones could be as big a public health risk as smoking, asbestos and leaded gasoline. The head of a prominent cancer-research institute at the University of Pittsburgh sent a memo to all employees urging them to limit cell phone use because of a possible risk of cancer.


Read more - http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/05/31/who.cell.phones/index.html

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