WHO Assessment Puts Cell Phone Use At "Possibly Carcinogenic"

The World Health Organization has just released the findings of a major literature review by leading scientists in the fields of cancer and radiation. Their conclusion? We need more data, but it’s looking as if wireless communications are, at the very least, not not carcinogenic.

The only positive data were deemed too “limited” or “inadequate” to permit the group to say there’s a definite link, though they saw fit to give it a 2B rating, “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”

Does this change much? Not really — “possibly” isn’t “probably” and it sure ain’t “definitely.” The reason they’ve classified it in this way is because of a lack of evidence. There are studies going on that can show links here and there, and there are correlations, but more long-term, large-scale studies need to be done in order for health officials to be able to say anything with confidence. Unfortunately, such studies are expensive, time-consuming, and difficult to design; over 10 years, so many environmental variables change that isolating one as a carcinogen is extremely difficult.

Think you’re at risk? Don’t hold your phone next to your head all day, or keep it in airplane mode when you’re not using it. But don’t forget you’re surrounded by the things.

The full press release can be downloaded here, though the details will be released separately online and in the July Lancet.