The United Nations’ health agency, the World Health Organization, now lists mobile phone use in the same “carcinogenic hazard” category as lead, engine exhaust and chloroform.
But no adverse health effects have been established, the agency explains.
The decision to list cell phones as a cancer hazard came after a team of 31 scientists from 14 countries examined peer-reviewed studies on cell phone safety.
“The biggest problem we have is that we know most environmental factors take several decades of exposure before we really see the consequences,” said Dr. Keith Black, chairman of neurology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
Numerous studies indicate prolonged cell phone use is hazardous. The European Environmental Agency has pushed for more studies. It says cell phones may be as big a public health risk as smoking, asbestos and leaded gasoline.
In 2009, WHO reached the same conclusion. A decade-long, $30 million study into cell phones found a link between long term use and brain tumors.
The WHO’s Interphone investigation’s results showed “a significantly increased risk” of some brain tumors “related to use of mobile phones for a period of ten years or more,” the Telegraph reported.
The study showed participants in the study who used a cell phones for 10 years or more had doubled the rate of brain glioma, a type of tumor. To date, there have been no long-term studies on the effects of cell phone usage among children.
In response to a number of studies revealing the dangers of cell phones, the industry now advises consumers to hold the devices away from their bodies.