New evidence suggests that electro-magnetic radiation could be more harmful than previously thought, and the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has now classified radio-frequency electro-magnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans.
According to the agency, the evidence was reviewed critically, and overall evaluated as being limited among users of wireless telephones for glioma and acoustic neuroma, and inadequate to draw conclusions for other types of cancers.
The Working Group did not quantitate the risk; however, one study of past cell phone use (up to the year 2004), showed a 40% increased risk for gliomas in the highest category of heavy users (reported average: 30 minutes per day over a 10‐year period).
Dr Jonathan Samet, from the University of Southern California and overall chairman of the Working Group, comments: “The evidence, while still accumulating, is strong enough to support a conclusion and the 2B classification. The conclusion means that there could be some risk, and therefore we need to keep a close watch for a link between cell phones and cancer risk."
IARC Christopher Wild adds: "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.”
The Working Group considered hundreds of scientific articles.