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WHO declares cellphones may cause cancer


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Those who are worried about the possible health risks of cellphones just received some backing from a significant source: the World Health Organization. A group within the organization, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, has announced it is listing the electromagnetic radiation produced by cell phones as "possibly carcinogenic." The IARC's use of the term "possibly" is key to the decision, as its expert panel determined that the information available is too limited to say anything with a greater degree of certainty, but is sufficient to warrant careful monitoring.

The designation is the result of a meeting held last week that brought 31 health researchers together to evaluate the conclusions that can be drawn from current research, including unpublished information from the Interphone study. The conclusions will eventually appear in The Lancet Oncology, but the IARC has issued a press release ahead of publication.

As we recently discussed, the wavelengths used for cellular communications are only known to influence human tissue via heating, and the researchers involved with the designation do not propose anything new here. The panel also recognizes that most of the epidemiological research involving human exposure to radio frequencies is ambiguous; for all but two types of cancer, the current state of information is officially deemed "inadequate."

For those two types of cancer, glioma and acoustic neuroma, the committee considered the evidence to be somewhat stronger, rising to the level of "limited." According to the IARC, this means that "A positive association has been observed between exposure to the agent and cancer," but "chance, bias or confounding could not be ruled out with reasonable confidence." One of the members of the group, USC's Jonathan Samet, said that this designation 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."

For these types of tumor, there is some evidence that those users who self-report as being among the heaviest cell phone users have a higher rate of incidence at longer time points. However, there's no clear trend in risks with increasing use, and self-reported behavior can often be unreliable, hence the caution expressed by the report and its authors.

So if everyone involved is being cautious about our limited state of knowledge, why the worrisome designation? Officially, the IARC places cell phones in Category 2B of their classification of cancer risks, and that's a pretty broad category:

This category is used for agents for which there is limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans and less than sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. It may also be used when there is inadequate evidence of carcinogenicity in humans but there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. In some instances, an agent for which there is inadequate evidence of carcinogenicity in humans and less than sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals together with supporting evidence from mechanistic and other relevant data may be placed in this group. An agent may be classified in this category solely on the basis of strong evidence from mechanistic and other relevant data.

All indications are that cell phones fall into the first of these categories: limited evidence of risk in humans, and nothing significant from laboratory animals. Samet's suggestion—that we need to keep a close watch in the form of further studies—makes a great deal of sense but is probably superfluous; there's no doubt those studies are in progress.

Even if our knowledge hasn't changed, the fact that the World Health Organization has weighed is sure to shift the debate. Although few people are likely to end up reading The Lancet Oncology in order to get a firm grasp on the limitations of our current knowledge, the mere use of the term "carcinogen" will probably have a potent effect on both the public's imagination and the ability of legislators to enact limits on the exposure to wireless radiation.

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good then no free cellphones, laptops or any other device. screw who

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nsane.forums

Cell Phones May Cause Cancer, Says the WHO. What to Do?

Cell phone radiation might possibly cause cancer, according to the World Health Organization, which until Tuesday has said there were no health risks. Its International Agency for Research on Cancer has now tied mobile phone radiation to an increased risk for glioma brain tumors.

The judgment doesn't stem from new research. Instead, a panel of 31 scientists from 14 countries including the United States spent a week poring over existing studies.

They added radiofrequency electromagnetic fields to a long list of "possibly carcinogenic" agents, including coconut oil, DDT, gasoline exhaust, lead, talcum powder, and titanium dioxide, as well as some types of HIV and HPV viruses.

Ionizing, solar, and ultraviolet radiation, by contrast, are classified as "carcinogenic." The next level of concern is "probably carcinogenic." Wireless phone radiation falls into the third of five ranked categories.

The CTIA wireless industry trade group quickly responded, stating that the classification "does not mean cell phones cause cancer." The FCC and FDA also maintain that there's no evidence to blame cancer on cell phones.

However, most scientists agree that there's no final verdict on whether mobile phones threaten health. Because cell phone radiation is non-ionizing--unlike radiation from nuclear fallout or X-rays--conventional wisdom has held that the only way it harms tissue is when a device overheats. At the same time, few experts say with certainty that using a two-way microwave radio close to your body is absolutely safe, either. After all, humans at the core are electromagnetic creatures, so why wouldn't electromagnetic radiation affect us?

The WHO panel looked at research including the results of the decade-long Interphone study, which generally failed to connect brain tumors with cell phone usage. However, the panel noted that one study tied 30 minutes or more of talking on a mobile phone each day to a 40 percent rise in glioma tumors over 10 years. A February study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that cell phone radiation changed brain chemistry by raising glucose levels.

Watchdog groups accuse the wireless industry of essentially turning the world's 5 billion users into guinea pigs. That includes Devra Davis, an epidemiologist who founded the Environmental Health Trust and wrote the book "Disconnect: The Truth About Cell Phone Radiation." She suggests that many patients of rare brain tumors also happen to be heavy cell phone users--like Sen. Ted Kennedy, who died in 2009.

It doesn't exactly reassure the public that in protesting San Francisco's move to require cell phone radiation labels, the CTIA moved its annual conference to Florida this year.

Given the current state of evidence, though, the only surefire way to turn a mobile phone into a killing machine is to pay more attention to it than the road while driving.

Nevertheless, if you prefer to exercise caution, these common-sense tips to reduce your radiation exposure won't harm productivity or make you look like a hypochondriac.

1. Use a Headset

You'll get far less radiation exposure from a headset than from a phone pressed to your ear. Check out these Bluetooth headsets that fared well in PCWorld's tests. Another option (behind closed doors, please) is to use your speakerphone. If that's not possible, follow the manual. Apple, for one, suggests holding an iPhone five-eights of an inch away from your head.

2. Keep the Phone at Arm's Length

Would-be parents might be wise to keep smartphones out of pockets or belt holsters, since reputable studies connect frequent cell phone usage with a decrease in sperm count and quality. For obvious reasons, there haven't been lab tests exploring how cell phone radiation may affect developing fetuses. But if you're pregnant, you're already avoiding tuna and soft cheese, so why risk holding a phone close to your belly?

3. Text, Don't Talk

There's less radiation involved in text messaging than in making a phone call. (Just don't text while walking, since bumping your head will hurt faster than any wireless radiation might.)

4. Turn It Off

Even if you check work e-mail at midnight, there's little need to keep your phone turned on 24/7. (The science may be fuzzy on mobile phone radiation, but it's clear that stress and sleep deprivation harm your health.) Instead of keeping the handset by your pillow for a wake up call, use a dedicated alarm clock.

5. Keep That Charger Handy

When the battery is running low or you're in a low-signal area, the phone works overtime and may expose you to more radiation.

6. Look for Phones with Low SAR Levels

I have mixed feelings about offering this advice. Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) levels are supposed to tell how much radiofrequency energy a body absorbs from a device. Yet these labels are not like calorie counts on a TV dinner. The level isn't necessarily what you get when chatting, texting, or playing an app on a given phone. Each of those activities involves constantly varying levels of power and signal strength. The FCC explains more about what SAR levels mean. That said, CNET frequently updates its list of the highest and lowest-radiation phones.

6. Keep Cell Phones out of the Hands of Children

If non-ionizing radiation affects adult brains in ways we still don't fully understand, it's likely to affect children even more. Their skulls and brains are still developing, so don't treat a cell phone as a toy. If you're letting your toddler play with it anyway, at least turn it off or shut off the signal.

7. Don't Believe the Hype About Radiation-blocking Products

Countless ads hawk devices meant to protect your body from electromagnetic frequencies (EMF). However, there's no conclusive evidence that an EMF medallion or sticker will work as advertised or even work at all. In fact, some of these products can force a phone to do more work and emit more radiation to make up for a blocked signal.

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Ambrocious

Ever since the 1980's in research by the cell phone creators, they knew this back then. But they thought it to be such a low dosage of radiation that it wouldn't matter....well I suppose they didn't suspect people would be using them 24/7 or maybe they did.

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In 2002 a study showed that the amount of radiation emitted from a cellphone, in 8 years is equal to standing in front of a microwave for 10 seconds.. cooking something for instance...

.. I also read an article about the Electro-Magnetic Radiation of the cell phone and signals..Wireless and the sort.. that stated that it was found in laboratory rats to be able to break down the protein deposits which cause Alzheimer's... In the same article it stated that some people can also develop a form of the disease .. which is caused by eating and consuming more amylase protein than your body has the amino acids and/or enzymes to break down .. such as always eating chicken for example.. as early as the age of 23...

I honestly would say it would take a few circumstances particular to the individual.. and their environment.. to cause the problem...

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grouchysmurf

Ya know, cancer is bad.

Yup, I said it..cancer=BAD

No other way to put it.

No such thing as good cancer.

It seems to me that the list of cancer causing agents is rather....long.

I mean really long.

Holy freakin' paperwork Batman, this is one BIG ass list.

I have a suggestion.

Maybe those wonderful and studious researchers that gather up all of this

useful data on how our environment is killing us could..oh I don't know........

START FINDING A FREAKIN" CURE INSTEAD OF TALKING ABOUT IT!

I do not mean to state the obvious, but I am sure that I am NOT the only one who has lost someone due

to this disease. And since we now have a planet full of super computers..lets put them to work

on this problem. I truly believe that this is one of those world wide issues that for once, everyone can agree on:

CANCER=BAD

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nsane.forums

Bluetooth Touted as the Cancer-free Wireless Tech

If you're worried that your cellphone might be giving you cancer, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has a solution for you: Use Bluetooth.

In a post on the official Bluetooth blog, SIG executive director Mike Foley touted Bluetooth as a low-power technology that could negate the risk of cellphone-induced brain cancer by allowing users to talk into their handsets at a distance instead of holding them directly up to their heads.

"[T]here is no need to hold that cell phone to your ear," writes Foley. "Bluetooth wireless headsets offer a safer solution. Why not err on the side of caution and go blue?"

Motorola Finiti Bluetooth headsetFoley elaborated by noting that Bluetooth headsets typically transmit with about 1/1,000 of the power of most mobile phones, since "a headset has to send a signal only a few feet from your ear to your phone, but cell phone towers are often a mile of more apart." Foley acknowledged that the link between cellphones and cancer is "still largely unproven," before quoting American Cancer Society Chief Medical Officer Otis Brawley as saying that "if there is a risk, most of it goes away with a wireless earpiece."

Foley's promotion of Bluetooth as a safer way to talk on cellphones came shortly after the World Health Organization released a report stating that there "could be some risk" that regular cellphone usage could increase the likelihood of coming down with glioma, a malignant form of brain cancer. Christopher Wild, the director for the International Agency for Research on Cancer, said yesterday that using hands-free technologies such as Bluetooth could help protect users from increased risk when using their cellphones.

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

Bluetooth is a low-energy wireless specification that is commonly used today for syncing up mobile devices with headsets or for wirelessly networking PCs with mice and printers. Bluetooth has also emerged as a key technology in the tablet market, as companies such as Research in Motion and Google have built Bluetooth support into their tablet operating systems to help the devices communicate with others. In recent years, the Bluetooth SIG has further refined the technology to enable it for use on devices that require less energy than cellphones or personal computers, such as watches and heart-rate monitors.

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niharjhatn

I have a suggestion.

Maybe those wonderful and studious researchers that gather up all of this

useful data on how our environment is killing us could..oh I don't know........

START FINDING A FREAKIN" CURE INSTEAD OF TALKING ABOUT IT!

I do not mean to state the obvious, but I am sure that I am NOT the only one who has lost someone due

to this disease. And since we now have a planet full of super computers..lets put them to work

on this problem. I truly believe that this is one of those world wide issues that for once, everyone can agree on:

CANCER=BAD

Unfortunately, the differing nature of each individual cancer makes it nigh impossible to form a total 'cure'. WHO is doing what it always does - inform, allowing for the public to make up its own mind. Some people will call BS and continue using their phone 24/7, whilst others may try and limit cell phone use.

Its like listening to an ipod or whatever, people generally listen to it too loud, knowing they are probably damaging their hair cells in their ears, but do it anyway.

I honestly believe the correlation is possibly more than what is stated...but cell phone companies may be trying very hard to preventing any truths coming out.

We shall see the real effects in like 12 years or so....I honestly hope it is nothing, but am not so sure

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grouchysmurf

Unfortunately, the differing nature of each individual cancer makes it nigh impossible to form a total 'cure'. WHO is doing what it always does - inform, allowing for the public to make up its own mind. Some people will call BS and continue using their phone 24/7, whilst others may try and limit cell phone use.

Its like listening to an ipod or whatever, people generally listen to it too loud, knowing they are probably damaging their hair cells in their ears, but do it anyway.

I honestly believe the correlation is possibly more than what is stated...but cell phone companies may be trying very hard to preventing any truths coming out.

We shall see the real effects in like 12 years or so....I honestly hope it is nothing, but am not so sure

Ok, I will even concede that. So how about this...get ONE cure...and work from there.

I hate to tell you this, but cancer is big business. Drug companies make millions off of this disease.

The drugs to treat it are beyond expensive, they receive millions in grants to "study" it, and it keeps

them in the political policy making arena.

The only people who would lose in the cure to cancer are the ones that the world has trusted to find a cure.

Seems kind of odd to me.

Until then, there is always going to be "another cause" of cancer.

I stand by my original statement.. Let's find a cure for the damn thing.

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karachidude

we should stop using cell phones,and use letters like the old times :P

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we should stop using cell phones,and use letters like the old times :P

haha

I'm sure most spoiled teens don't even know how to send a letter,

would be close to impossible to do such a thing lol

though it seems like just about anything causes cancer these days

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IMO.. letters are for real interpersonal, intimate communication. Thing is you cannot trust the postal service and it takes a week or more to even get there for whatever reason..

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majithia23

i always knew this and warned my folks too ...

how ?

there have already been many independent studies dome by freelance labs and researchers ,

that showed how bad cell phones can be on continuous use ...

i remember reading research papers on cell phones and sperms , bacterial activity , little chicks , eggs . hearing levels , testicular cancers .....

well sooner than later ,

at least now they cared to make it officially public .... <_<

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