|LYON, France/BOULDER, Colo. - After years of speculation, there is confirmation from the world's leading health body that minimizing cell phone use is a good idea, and scientists outside the World Health Organization (WHO) say other biological effects, beyond cancer, also are cause for caution.
Scientists working with the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) conducted a major review and found a sufficient link to justify classifying radio frequencies emitted by cell phones as a "possible human carcinogen."
Camilla Rees, founder of ElectromagneticHealth.org, says there is a mounting body of evidence of other biological effects - such as changes in DNA, fertility and brain metabolism - from cell phones, as well as from other wireless technologies such as chronic low-power exposures to wi-fi.
"The elephant in the room is that radiation risks are not only from cell phones, but from all radiation-emitting consumer devices. Then, of course, there are the cell towers in people's neighborhoods adding an additional layer of exposure."
Dr. Annie Sasco is a leading cancer epidemiologist with the University of Bordeaux, France, and a distinguished 20-year veteran of the International Agency for Research on Cancer for the WHO. Her interpretation of the research indicates that radiation from cell phones may be more dangerous than the World Health Organization concludes at this point, but in the meantime, while the research continues, she says people need to protect themselves.
"We need not panic. On the other hand, yes, I think it should be an encouragement to people to use cell phones in a reasonable way."
Some 237,900 new cases of brain cancers occurred worldwide in 2008. An estimated 5 billion cell phones are currently in use around the world.
Experts recommend employing a hands-free device or speaker-phone feature when using a cell phone, and lowering exposure to all wireless devices and infrastructure.
International scientists in February called for nations to adopt greatly lowered exposure guidelines, as seen in the Seletun Scientific Statement. Last week, the Council of Europe also called for major reductions to EMFs (electromagnetic fields).