WHO panel sees potential link between cell phones, brain cancer

WHO panel sees potential link between cell phones, brain cancerMoscow, June 1 : An expert panel by the World Health Organization (WHO) has established a potential link between the use of mobile phones and brain cancer, the organisation said in a statement on its website.

A group of 31 scientists announced at Tuesday's meeting of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) that it classified electromagnetic fields as "possibly carcinogenic to humans", based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer, associated with wireless phone use.

"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," IARC Director Christopher Wild said.

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

The team said it assigned the 2B status to electromagnetic fields, which means there is "limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans".

"The evidence, while still accumulating, is strong enough to support a conclusion and the 2B classification. The conclusion means that there could be some risk, and therefore we need to keep a close watch for a link between cell phones and cancer risk," said Jonathan Samet of the University of Southern California, who heads the panel.

The group is to publish a detailed report on its findings in the next few days.(IANS/RIA Novosti)