Using a mobile phone may increase the risk of developing certain types of brain tumor and consumers should consider ways of reducing their exposure, World Health Organization cancer experts said yesterday.
A working group of 31 scientists from 14 countries meeting at the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer said a review of all the available scientific evidence suggested cell phone use should be classified as “possibly carcinogenic.”
The classification, which puts mobile phone use in the same broad IARC cancer risk category as lead, chloroform and coffee, could spur the United Nations health body to look again at its guidelines on mobile phones, the scientists said.
But more lengthy and detailed research is needed before a more definitive answer on any link can be given.
The WHO had previously said there was no established evidence for a link between cell phone use and cancer.
“After reviewing essentially all the evidence that is relevant ... the working group classified radio-frequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans,” Jonathan Samet, chair of the IARC group, said in a telebriefing.
He said some evidence suggested a link between an increased risk for glioma, a type of brain cancer, and mobile phone use.