Cellphones May Be Carcinogenic and Increase the Risk of Brain Cancer

Update: see previous post – May 16, 2010 Cell Phone Use causes Brain Cancer, March 18, 2011 Women Can’t Last Week without Cell/Smart Phone, Smart Digital Camera, MP3 Players

There are about 5 billion cellphones in use worldwide, since they were introduced in the 1980’s.

Our use of cellphones in motor vehicles, despite the laws against them, are increasing. Given where these studies are leaning, a bluetooth wireless device, seems to be a safer (not totally safe) alternative.

Using a cellphone may increase the risk of certain types of brain cancer in humans and cellphone users should reduce their exposure to them, according to a group of scientists and cancer experts.

Lyon, France ‐ The World Health Organization (WHO)/International Agency for Research on Cancer (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 cancer1, associated with wireless phone use.

Over the last few years, there has been mounting concern about the possibility of adverse health effects resulting from exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields, such as those emitted by wireless communication devices. The number of mobile phone subscriptions is estimated at 5 billion globally.

From May 24–31 2011, a Working Group of 31 scientists from 14 countries has been meeting at IARC in Lyon, France, to assess the potential carcinogenic hazards from exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields.

45 year old Bernard Lord, former Conservative Premier of New Brunswick (1999-2006) was born in Quebec, raised in Moncton and educated there as a lawyer (Senior Counsel at the McCarthy Tétrault law firm). On October 27, 2008 he was named President & CEO of the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association.

These assessments will be published as Volume 102 of the IARC Monographs, which will be the fifth volume in this series to focus on physical agents, after Volume 55 (Solar Radiation), Volume 75 and Volume 78 on ionizing radiation (X‐rays, gamma‐rays, neutrons, radio‐nuclides), and Volume 80 on non‐ionizing radiation (extremely low‐frequency electromagnetic fields).

The IARC Monograph Working Group discussed the possibility that these exposures might induce long‐term health effects, in particular an increased risk for cancer. This has relevance for public health, particularly for users of mobile phones, as the number of users is large and growing, particularly among young adults and children.

New Democratic Party of Ontario M.P.P. France Gélinas
New Democratic Party of Ontario M.P.P. France Gélinas

Ontario New Democrat Party MPP France Gélinas wants the government to act on the World Health Organization’s report and to have warnings, that are currently in the user guide booklets that come with cellphones/smartphones to be placed directly on the cellphones/smartphones themselves. Ontario’s Liberal Health Promotion Minister, Margret Best, said that she will discuss the report with provincial and federal experts before considering if any action is required in this regard.

As might be expected, the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (which represents the interests of cellphone/smartphone companies) said that the WHO report only found a “possible” link between wireless devices and cancer.

Bernard Lord, President & CEO of the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, is presently an Ottawa telecommunications lobbyist.

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