Lyon, France – The World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) announced on Tuesday that it has classified the radiation emitted by mobile phones as “possibly” carcinogenic.

“The WHO/International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans, based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer,” the agency said.

“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,” added IARC director Christopher Wild.

“Pending the availability of such information, it is important to take pragmatic measures to reduce exposure such as hands‐free devices or texting.”

The IARC uses three tiers of classification for carcinogens: “carcinogenic,” “probably carcinogenic,” and “possibly carcinogenic” — cell phones were placed in this last category.

For its part, wireless industry trade group CTIA downplayed the WHO report.

“This IARC classification does not mean cellphones cause cancer,” said John Walls, vice president of public affairs at CTIA.

“Based on previous assessments of the scientific evidence, the Federal Communications Commission has concluded that ‘[t]here’s no scientific evidence that proves that wireless phone usage can lead to cancer.’ The Food and Drug Administration has also stated that ‘[t]he weight of scientific evidence has not linked cellphones with any health problems.'”


Related Links:
(PDF of WHO statement)