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Thursday 20th June 2019

Brain cancer possible from mobiles

1st June 2011

New findings have suggested that mobile phones may be behind an increased risk of a certain type of brain cancer.


Following a review of evidence, the World Health Organisation’s cancer research agency has said that mobile phones are "possibly carcinogenic".

It says the reported increased risk of a malignant type of brain cancer cannot be ruled out.

While acknowledging that there is no certainty of a link, it also remains “not clearly established” that it does cause cancer in humans.

A group of 31 experts has been meeting in Lyon, France, to review human evidence coming from epidemiological studies.

They examined all relevant human studies of people using mobile phones and exposure to electromagnetic fields in their workplace.

The WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has the power to give mobile phones one of five scientific labels: carcinogenic, probably carcinogenic, possibly carcinogenic, not classifiable or probably not carcinogenic.

It has now given them the rating of "possibly carcinogenic".

However, Cancer Research UK said it was still too early to draw any strong conclusions.

Ed Yong, head of health information at Cancer Research UK, said: “The vast majority of existing studies have not found a link between phones and cancer, and if such a link exists, it is unlikely to be a large one. The risk of brain cancer is similar in people who use mobile phones compared to those who don’t.”

The IARC said it was now important that additional research be conducted into the long term, heavy use of mobile phones.


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