‘Possibly Carcinogenic’ Cell Phones

I can’t say that I am terribly surprised by the World Health Organization’s announcement that cell phone usage could possibly contribute to an increased risk of cancer, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

http://www.medpagetoday.com/PublicHealthPolicy/PublicHealth/26776

From the article:

A work group of the World Health Organization has declared the radiofrequency electromagnetic fields emitted by cell phones to be “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”

The declaration was made after a week-long meeting of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon, France, which involved 31 scientists from 14 countries, who decided there was enough evidence linking use of cellphones to an increased risk of glioblastoma.

The declaration puts these energy fields into the IARC’s group 2B for carcinogenic agents — one notch above compounds “not classifiable” as cancer-causing because of inadequate evidence.

Other agents in group 2B include progestins and anti-epileptics such as phenytoin and phenobarbital.

That doesn’t sound good. But how can we really know for sure what this actually means? Well we can’t.

To that end,  read this quote from the chair of neurosurgery at Ohio State University:

“The follow-up hasn’t been long enough,” he said. “If it takes 20-plus years for the effects to be seen, we may still not have enough time to really know whether the use is linked to brain cancer.”

In other words, take this with a grain of salt.

That being said it is worth the time  being spent researching this topic. Being at the same danger level for cancer as DDT isn’t exactly a ‘ringing’ endorsement for the safety of cell phones.

Who knows what they’ll find a decade or two from now..

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