In some quarters the specter of cancer-causing cell phones refuses to be put to rest — or even to be temporarily stilled while new studies are conducted. In recent years a large number of studies from over a dozen countries have been published showing no evidence of a detectable link between cell phone use and brain tumors. This should be reassuring. Nevertheless, there are hard-core believers among activists and scientists who do not miss an opportunity to promote a contrary view.
The expert panel that evaluates cancer risks today said that cell phones might possibly cause brain cancer.
The announcement comes from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Like the World Health Organization, the American Cancer Society relies on IARC for evaluation of cancer risks.
“After reviewing all the evidence available, the IARC working group classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans,” panel chairman Jonathan Samet, MD, chair of preventive medicine at the USC Keck School of Medicine, said at a news teleconference. “We reached this conclusion based on a review of human evidence showing increased risk of glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer, in association with wireless phone use.”
In finding cell phones to be “possibly carcinogenic,” the IARC means that heavy cell phone use might — or might not — cause a specific form of brain cancer called glioma. The finding means that research is urgently needed to find out whether cell …