Health Team

Reactions mixed to cellphone-cancer finding

Posted June 1, 2011

— Local cellphone retailers aren't commenting on the World Health Organization's latest findings that cellphones can possibly cause cancer, but store employees say hands-free devices appear to be selling as a result.

The classification was issued Tuesday in Lyon, France, by the International Agency for Research on Cancer after a review of dozens of published studies.

The agency is an arm of the World Health Organization and its assessment now goes to WHO and national health agencies for possible guidance on cellphone use.

Classifying agents as "possibly carcinogenic" doesn't mean they automatically cause cancer and some experts said the ruling shouldn't change people's cellphone habits.

The cellphone industry group, CTIA Wireless Association, is disregarding the new carcinogenic listing, saying the organization "in the past has given the same score to, for example, pickled vegetables and coffee."

Pamela Huff isn't taking any chances. She bought earbuds Monday on the way to taking her college-aged son to the airport to go back to school.

The WHO's announcement is exactly why she's writing a thesis at Duke University on brain MRIs.

"We have some real scientific data that supports the fact that cellphone use could interfere with your brain, and your brain is important," Huff said.

Experts say that if cellphone users don't use hands-free devices, they should at least try to avoid using their phones in places, such as elevators or rural areas. Cellphones emit the most radiation when they have to work hard to connect to a cellular tower.


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  • bmg379 Jun 2, 2011

    "nuculear experts in Japan say there is no meltdown" sometimes you have to use the head on your shoulders people,do you believe they will tell you it is causing cancer ubtill the GOV steps in,most people waste alot of time talking and texting etc,if you only use it on a rare occasion and use the handsfree device it is alot safer then holding it up to year head hours at a time,imagine the cancer wards 25 years down the road

  • gregbscis Jun 2, 2011

    LOL - which one is it? They keep going back and forth.

  • Warden Jun 2, 2011

    "...some experts said the ruling shouldn't change people's cellphone habits" Are these experts people tied in to cellular companies? Or are they people who just don't want to hear something that will lessen their convenience factor? I think cellphone habits should change for _many_ reasons, the increased cancer risk being one of them.

    Many cellular habits are bad habits/rude habits. And why is it surprising to anyone that having this piece of equipment up against your head for hours at a time could have at least a small effect?

  • anonemoose Jun 2, 2011

    Since they fed the mice enough saccharin to be the equivalent of a human consuming 300 cans a day of diet drinks a day to get cancer, how may cell phones do we have to eat to get cancer from them?

    I noticed they changed the headline since yesterday.