Conflicting Reports on the Safety of Mobile Phones

Even though the World Health Organization (WHO) reported earlier this week that a new study shows using mobile phones can be harmful to your health; there are other reports that show just the opposite.

One of them is also from the WHO, and came out just last year. That report is cited by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as part of its justification mobile phone radio frequency safety standards.

This conflicting information is bound to cause some confusion among consumers; many of whom are already asking for tougher regulations on radio wave emissions from mobile phones.

The report this week from a unit of the WHO known as the International Agency for Research on Cancer, shows a correlation between wireless phone use and malignant tumors known as glioma. As a result, the health agency now puts mobile phones in the same cancer risk category as things like lead engine exhaust and chloroform.

While that agency doesn’t make recommendations for mobile use by consumers; a spokesperson told told Web MD Health News: “Some of the highest exposures come from using mobile phones for voice calls. If you text, or use hands-free devices, you lower exposure by at least [10-fold]”.

But why are the radio wave emissions from mobile phones dangerous? Scientists say they heat up body tissue kind of like a microwave cooks your food, and that is what increases your risk of cancer.

That conclusion, however, is challenged by the trade group representing the wireless industry; the CTIA. They say the IARC’s report “does not mean cell phones cause cancer.”

In addition, a study done last year by researchers at the University of South Florida that showed cell phone emissions may actually protect against Alzheimer’s disease.

As reported by CNET, states and cities around the country have been trying to pass new cell phone safety regulations.They are being strenuously opposed by the CTIA, which notes that mobile phones in the US already comply with federal standards. But those standards were set before this week’s study results were released.

So, it remains to be seen what, if anything, the Federal government will do to change its position in light of new developments.


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