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New Study:Cell phones-cancer risk

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(CNN) -- Radiation from cell phones can possibly cause cancer, according to the World Health Organization. The agency now lists mobile phone use in the same "carcinogenic hazard" category as lead, engine exhaust and chloroform.

Before its announcement Tuesday, WHO had assured consumers that no adverse health effects had been established.

A team of 31 scientists from 14 countries, including the United States, made the decision after reviewing peer-reviewed studies on cell phone safety. The team found enough evidence to categorize personal exposure as "possibly carcinogenic to humans."

What that means is they found some evidence of increase in glioma and acoustic neuroma brain cancer for mobile phone users, but have not been able to draw conclusions for other types of cancers

"The biggest problem we have is that we know most environmental factors take several decades of exposure before we really see the consequences," said Dr. Keith Black, chairman of neurology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

The type of radiation coming out of a cell phone is called non-ionizing. It is not like an X-ray, but more like a very low-powered microwave oven.

"What microwave radiation does in most simplistic terms is similar to what happens to food in microwaves, essentially cooking the brain," Black said. "So in addition to leading to a development of cancer and tumors, there could be a whole host of other effects like cognitive memory function, since the memory temporal lobes are where we hold our cell phones."

Wireless industry responded to Tuesday's announcement saying it "does not mean cell phones cause cancer." CTIA-The Wireless Association added that WHO researchers "did not conduct any new research, but rather reviewed published studies."

The European Environmental Agency has pushed for more studies, saying cell phones could be as big a public health risk as smoking, asbestos and leaded gasoline. The head of a prominent cancer-research institute at the University of Pittsburgh sent a memo to all employees urging them to limit cell phone use because of a possible risk of cancer.

"When you look at cancer development -- particularly brain cancer -- it takes a long time to develop. I think it is a good idea to give the public some sort of warning that long-term exposure to radiation from your cell phone could possibly cause cancer," said Dr. Henry Lai, research professor in bioengineering at University of Washington who has studied radiation for more than 30 years.

Results from the largest international study on cell phones and cancer was released in 2010. It showed participants in the study who used a cell phone for 10 years or more had doubled the rate of brain glioma, a type of tumor. To date, there have been no long-term studies on the effects of cell phone usage among children.

"Children's skulls and scalps are thinner. So the radiation can penetrate deeper into the brain of children and young adults. Their cells are at a dividing faster rate, so the impact of radiation can be much larger." said Black of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

In February, a study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health, revealed radiation emitted after just 50 minutes on a mobile phone increases the activity in brain cells. The effects of brain activity being artificially stimulated are still unknown.

Neurosurgeon and CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta says Tuesday's announcement, "dealt a blow to those who have long said, 'There is no possible mechanism for cell phones to cause cancer.' By classifying cell phones as a possible carcinogen, they also seem to be tacitly admitting a mechanism could exist."

Manufacturers of many popular cell phones already warn consumers to keep their device away from their body.

The Apple iPhone 4 safety manual says users' radiation exposure should not exceed FCC guidelines: "When using iPhone near your body for voice calls or for wireless data transmission over a cellular network, keep iPhone at least 15 millimeters (5/8 inch) away from the body."

BlackBerry Bold advises users to, "keep the BlackBerry device at least 0.98 inch (25 millimeters) from your body when the BlackBerry device is transmitting."

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Guest Shoreline

This just in: Going outside, breathing, marriage, and even life can cause cancer.

Not really surprising to me since we're talking intensified radio frequencies.

Although, you have to think if the signals were that bad for you, uh, what about all the fricken radio towers they have for cell phones? I'm sure things would be quite bad if it were this unhealthy, especially over 20 years from when this panic first started.

Edited by Shoreline

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Being alive causes cancer. So the only way to not get cancer is just drop dead. I understand that some things pose an inherent cancer risk like smoking, inhaling asbestos dust, genetics.....but at this point, there's a new study coming out every week that yet another mundane thing WILL ABSOLUTELY ******* KILL YOU DEAD!!!!! (Story at 11) and it's starting to lose its shock value. What next, mascara causes cancer of the eyelashes?

Edited by Electrophile

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What next, mascara causes cancer of the eyelashes?

Well, I heard that Q-Tips cause cancer of the ear canal. An additional danger is that if some people dig too deep, they could poke a hole and their brains would fall out. Deadly, if in fact they actually notice the missing brain.

That's what heard.


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From CBC:

Health Canada should "aggressively" research the possible link between wireless airwaves and cancer and should inform Canadians how they can limit their exposure to such electromagnetic fields while using cellphones, an expert scientific panel recommends.

However, the panel found that Health Canada guidelines for human exposure to wireless airwaves from cell towers, radio and TV broadcast antennas and other wireless technology provide enough protection from the two established health effects from high-powered exposure to those frequencies:

- Heat damage such as burns.

- Electrical shocks or nerve stimulation.

People are still being warned, yet not much is being done.


Edited by cusimano_brothers

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The main cancer risk related to cell phones is to the Chinese workers who make them for Nokia, Samsung, Apple and others. Benzene poisoned workers, dying and committing suicide rather than be a burden to their families.


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