Cellphone radiation is now in a class with lead, DDT, and engine exhaust in terms of its potential to cause cancer

RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—On Tuesday the World Health Organization’s branch that studies and determines the carcinogenic effect of certain exposures classified cellphone radiation as Group 2B—possibly carcinogenic. The announcement came after 31 scientists from 14 countries concluded a weeklong meeting at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in France, where they analyzed studies looking at exposure to electromagnetic fields from cellphones. To date, about 5 billion people around the world use cellphones, suggesting major health repercussions if cellphone use does increase the risk of glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer, as some studies have shown.

However, IARC asserts that this classification does not definitively mean cellphones cause certain types of cancer. “The evidence, while still accumulating, is strong enough to support a conclusion and the 2B classification,” Jonathan Samet, MD, MS, chairman of the IARC working group said in a statement. “The conclusion means that there could be some risk, and therefore we need to keep a close watch for a link between cellphones and cancer risk.”

Aside from increased risk of brain cancer, cellphone use has also been tied to developmental problems in kids, ringing in the ears, bone loss, concentration problems, and unsightly rashes. The “possibly carcinogenic” classification means cellphone radiation joins lead, chloroform, and DDT, as well as more than 250 other substances on the 2B list.


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