Cellphones May Be Carcinogenic

Cellphones May Be Carcinogenic

An international panel of experts say that cellphones are possibly carcinogenic.

Published May 31, 2011

We’ve heard the campaigns: “Don’t Text and Drive,” “Don’t Talk and Drive,” and in New York there have even been signs stating “Don’t Walk and Text.” 


But now, in the wake of a new study on the health effects of cellphones, we could see signs that say: "Don’t Talk on Cellphones."


Cellphones are possibly carcinogenic to humans, the International Agency for Research on Cancer said in a statement Tuesday. The agency, which is a division of the World Health Organization, reviewed potential links between cancer and the radiation found in cellphones, microwaves and radar. The international panel of experts classified cellphones in a 2B category, the same category in which the pesticide DDT and gasoline engine exhaust are found.


Some question the credibility of the study, however, because they claim that it started with people who already had cancer. The participants were then asked how often they used their cellphones more than 10 years ago.


Last year, results of a large study found no clear link between cellphones and cancer, reports the Associated Press. But some advocacy groups maintained that despite the results, the study raised valid concerns because it showed there was a possible connection between very heavy phone use and a rare, but deadly brain tumor.


In total, there are nearly 5 billion cellphone subscribers worldwide. Because the number is so large, some say it is impossible for experts to determine if someone’s cellphone was the cause of their brain tumor.


Nevertheless, studies have confirmed that cellphones speed up brain activity and that cellphones are tied to a higher risk of car accidents.

(Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Written by Danielle Wright


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