Now it’s official: Cell phones cause brain cancer.
It’s always been a concern: Do cell phones cause cancer? For the past few years, there has been an urgency to address that concern, since cell phone usage has increased dramatically, especially among children and teens. The other day, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) which is part of WHO (World Health Organization) made its official announcement that it now lists cell phone use in the same “carcinogenic hazard” category as lead, engine exhaust and chloroform.
The CTIA (the U.S. wireless trade association) immediately pointed out that the IARC did not say that cell phones cause cancer. Additionally, the findings were based on published studies, not scientific findings. The Federal Trade Commission and the Food and Drug Administration say that there is no scientific evidence that link cell phone usage to health problems. The FCC urged the IARC to continue research until it has identified the potential health risks and then consider if “further actions may be required.”
The IARC responded that the evidence is still being accumulated, but as of right now it is strong enough to support the conclusion that there could be some risk, and that we need to watch for a link and cell phones and cancer. The team of 31 scientists from 14 different countries (including the United States) said that it had found enough evidence to cell phone radiation being “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”
Scientific experts have said that if a person uses a cell phone for at least an hour each day over a 10-year period, the risk of developing some brain tumors increases. They also said that the tumors were more likely to be on the side of the head where the cell phone is being most used. Other experts have agreed that there is no scientific proof of this.
Okay, so let me get this straight: For the past ten years, there has been increasing concern that cell phones might cause cancer. In 2008, Scientific American came out with studies that showed that cell phones might cause cancer, but that more research was needed before drawing a conclusion. Research became extensive because we, the cell phone users of the world, want to know: Does using a cell phone cause cancer?
Well, today we have the final answer: Yes, there is a possibility that it does. When more research has been completed we will know for sure.
Whew. That clears a lot up. I feel better now.
~ Lori Cline