Mobile Phones may cause Brain Cancer - WHO

Talking on the Mobile phone may possibly lead to a malignant form of brain cancer, the World Health Organization has said. A study done by an arm of the world body has classified radiation coming out of cellphones alongside gasoline engine exhaust, lead and DDT as "possibly carcinogenic to humans". The International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is under WHO, however, said there wasn't enough evidence yet to conclusively link mobile phone use with cancer. "The WHO/IARC has classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans (group 2B), based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer, associated with wireless phone use," it said.
Exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic fields from handsets is greater than that from phone towers and base stations, Robert Baan , the senior scientist in charge of the International Agency for Research on Cancer report on the subject, said on a conference call with reporters. The fields are "possibly" carcinogenic, the same category as diesel fuel, chloroform and working as a firefighter, according to the IARC, based in Lyon, France, which classifies cancer risks. This is the first time an agency working group has surveyed research on radiofrequency electromagnetic fields to make a definitive classification, the IARC said yesterday. India currently has over 811.59 million cell users. The classification followed a review of epidemiological evidence, with the IARC saying that radiofrequency electromagnetic fields generated by cellphones could be “possibly carcinogenic to humans”. It called for additional research (to determine long-term effects of mobile phone use) but advised consumers to use hands-free devices to reduce radiation risks.
One of Australia's leading brain surgeons says a new report into the potentially harmful effects of mobile phones should serve as a "wake-up call" to users and the telecommunications industry. Dr Charles Teo, founder of the Centre for Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery at Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney, said he was "pleased" with the findings. "There is an increasing body of evidence that there is an association between brain tumours and mobile phones," Dr Teo, also a former Australian of the Year finalist, said in a statement today. The news follows a weeklong meeting in Lyon, France in which scientists assessed the potential carcinogenic hazards from exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields. The group of international experts looked at exposure data as well as studies of cancer in humans and experimental animals. The evidence was inadequate to draw conclusions about cancers other than glioma (a broad range of brain tumors) and acoustic neuroma — a non-cancerous tumor that develops on the nerve that connects the ear to the brain. A report summarizing the results of the group’s work will be published in the July 1 issue of The Lancet Oncology.
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