WHO Group Says Cell Phones 'Possibly' Carcinogenic

Electromagnetic radiation generated by cell phones is "possibly carcinogenic" to humans, the WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer concludes.

According to a WHO press release, an international working group of 31 scientists analyzed hundreds of studies and found — on the basis of "limited" evidence — a positive association between wireless telephone use and glioma. The group cited one study that showed a 40% increased risk for glioma among the heaviest users (people who reported using their cell phones 30 minutes daily over 10 years). However, chance, bias, or confounding could not yet be ruled out, so electromagnetic radiation was given the "2B" classification as being possibly carcinogenic.

IARC director Christopher Wild said that further research needs to be done on heavy, long-term use of cell phones. Until those results are published, he added, "it is important to take pragmatic measures to reduce exposure such as hands-free devices or texting."