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Put down that mobile phone? Experts study cancer risk

mobile phone cancer illustration

(Photo illustration David Boraks/DavidsonNews.net)

How safe is that mobile phone? Consumers have been asking that question for years, worrying that electromagnetic radiation emitted by phones might cause cancer. Now, with more than 4.6 billion mobile phone subscribers globally, a new international panel of experts says they might be “possibly carcinogenic.”

The panel, organized by the World Health Organization, compiled results from dozens of previous studies, and concluded that mobile phones could lead to cancer. “Possibly carcinogenic” is not the most serious warning, but indicates a risk.

Mobile phones in recent years have improved, and radiation emissions have been reduced. And the WHO said that “to date, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use.”

So the latest warning is a prelude to more study – particularly among those who use phones the most – young people who talk on the phone more than an hour a day. The WHO says it will conduct a “formal risk assessment of all studied health outcomes from radiofrequency fields exposure by 2012.”

LINKS

World Health Organization fact sheet, “Electromagnetic fields and public health: mobile phones.”

May 31, 2011, “Cell phones possibly carcinogenic, WHO says.”

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