Mobile phones are as cancerous as HPV, engine exhaust, says WHO

World Health Organization logoThe World Health Organization on Tuesday reclassified radio frequency electromagnetic fields generated by radio, television and wireless telecommunications as being possibly carcinogenic to humans.

A working group for The International Agency for Research on Cancer met over the last four days in May to assess and classify RF electromagnetic fields as a potential carcinogen, and the group found there to be positive, but limited causality between exposure to RF electromagnetism and glioma (glial cell tumors) and acoustic neuroma (intracranial tumor).

Because of these findings, the group declared mobile phone radiation to be a "2B" carcinogen. This is the same cancer threat as that borne by gasoline engine exhaust and certain types of Human papillomavirus (HPV 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59).

There was not enough evidence to support whether other types of cancer could be caused by exposure to mobile phone RF radiation.

"Given the potential consequences for public health of this classification and findings," said IARC Director Christopher Wild, "it is important that additional research be conducted into the long-term, heavy use of mobile phones. Pending the availability of such information, it is important
to take pragmatic measures to reduce exposure such as hands free devices or texting."

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