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The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified the radiation emitted by cell phones to be “possibly carcinogenic”. This puts cell phones in the same category as lead, the pesticide DDT, and automobile exhaust. Governments around the world will be pressured to update the public on the dangers of using cell phones for too long.
The IARC reports that making calls for more than half an hour a day over 10 years could increase the risk of developing gliomas – a type of tumor that starts in the brain or spine – by 40 per cent. This is considered “limited” evidence, as further studies are needed to determine whether the gliomas are simply caused by chance. There is no evidence that cell phone radiation causes other kinds of cancer.
Scientists have known that cell phones emit radiation, and that much of it is absorbed by the body. But until recently, cancer studies have been inconclusive because tumors can take decades to develop, and cell phones are a fairly recent technology.
Although Christopher Wilde, director of IARC says that more research needs to be done, he says that “it is important to take pragmatic measures to reduce exposure such as hands-free devices or texting.”