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Mobile phones aren’t likely to cause cancer, says expert in physics

by Nicole
June 4, 2011 at 10:05 am

The World Health Organization conducted a study on the possibility that mobile phones cause cancer.

A review of the evidence suggests that there may be an increased risk of developing a malignant type of brain cancer. Researches added, however, that any link between brain cancer and mobile phones is weak and clear conclusions can’t be drawn.

A group of 31 experts met in Lyon, France, to review results from various epidemiological studies. They said that they analyzed the most relevant studies of people using mobile phones and who are exposed to electromagnetic fields at work.

The UN International Agency for Research on Cancer could offer cell phones a scientific classification of the five available: carcinogenic, probably carcinogenic, possibly carcinogenic, not classifiable or probably not carcinogenic. Researchers have concluded that mobile phones are “possibly carcinogenic” because of a close connection with a form of brain cancer – glioma.

World Health Organization estimates that there are five billion mobile phone subscriptions globally.

Ed Yong, head of health information at Cancer Research UK, says that “the WHO’s verdict means that there is some evidence linking mobile phones to cancer but it is too weak to draw strong conclusions from.”

“The vast majority of existing studies have not found a link between phones and cancer, and if such a link exists, it is unlikely to be a large one,” continued Ed Young.

“The risk of brain cancer is similar in people who use mobile phones compared to those who don’t, and rates of this cancer have not gone up in recent years despite a dramatic rise in phone use during the 1980s,” concludes Young.

Christopher Wild, director of the IARC, said that “given the potential consequences for public health of this classification and findings it is important that additional research be conducted into the long term, heavy use of mobile phones.”

The verdict given by World Health Organization and healthguidance.org was challenged by a physicist.

“Electromagnetic radiation can’t create mutant strands of DNA unless the frequency is at or higher than the blue limit of the visible spectrum the near-ultraviolet. The frequency of cell phone radiation is about 1 million times too low.” says Robert Park, professor of physics at the Department of Physics at the University of Maryland.

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