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WHO finds cell phone radiation possible carcinogen to humans

For Immediate Release: 
Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Washington, D.C. -- The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer announced today it has classified cell phone radiation as “possibly carcinogenic to humans,” based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer associated with wireless phone use.

Research has also identified an association between cell phone use and salivary gland tumors and acoustic neuromas, tumors of the nerve that links the ear to the brain.

A working group of 31 scientists from 14 nations convened by the International Agency for Research on Cancer issued this verdict today after a week-long meeting in Lyon, France. “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 panel chair Jonathan Samet, M.D., chairman of the preventive medicine department at the University of Southern California and an international authority on environmental causes of disease.

Environmental Working Group has been shining a spotlight on cell phone safety since 2009, beginning with the publication of EWG’s report, Cell Phone Radiation Science Review on Cancer Risks and Children's Health.

“EWG analysis of the literature clearly demonstrated multiple reasons to ask hard questions about cell phone safety, particularly for children and teenagers.” Renee Sharp, director of the EWG California office, said. “The World Health Organization’s announcement confirms EWG’s findings and raises the issue to a new level of concern for human health.”

EWG has called for greater transparency in cell phone radiation exposure to consumers, supported right-to-know initiatives and recommended simple steps cell phone users can take to decrease their individual exposure, such as using a headset and texting rather than talking.


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EWG is a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, D.C. that uses the power of information to protect human health and the environment. http://www.ewg.org