The World Health Organization has warned that mobile phones can cause cancer and advised users to limit their time on the phone by using hands-free devices or sending messages instead of calling.
It is the first time the World Health Organization found a link between mobile phone use and cancer, shortly after another research showed that using a mobile phone for 30 minutes a day increases the risk of brain cancer by 40 percent.
Companies in the mobile phone industry reacted immediately and said that it wasn’t clearly demonstrated whether the devices can cause cancer or not.
The director of the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, dr. Christopher Wild, said that given the potential consequences for human health, it is important that research on mobile phone is conducted in the long-term.
“Pending the availability of such information, it is important to take pragmatic measures to reduce exposure, such as hands-free devices and texting”, said Christopher Wild.
The conclusion of the International Agency for Research on Cancer has come after a week of research of all available scientific evidence, by 21 researchers from 14 countries. The group concluded that mobile phone use is “possibly carcinogenic”, but less dangerous than smoking or sun exposure.
Some researchers said that the figures were flawed and advised people not to be worried, but others warned about the risks.
“Why should it come as a surprise that pressing mobiles to people’s ears increases the risk of brain tumours?” says Denis Henshaw, an expert in radiation at Bristol University.
Researchers have also found a possible link between mobile phone use and non-cancerous tumors of the nerves that transmit information about sound from the ear to the brain.
The world’s five billion people use mobile phones daily.