HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – A panel at the World Health Organization has found that using mobile phones may increase the risk of certain types of cancer. But … don't hang up your phone just yet.
The WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer - made up of 31 scientists from around the world - pored over all available studies on the health effects of cell phones and found there's some limited evidence of carcinogens to humans, due to a cell phone's radio-frequency electro-magnetic field.
Hawaii oncologist doctor Paul Palalay presides over the local chapter of the American Cancer Society, and says, "There is limited evidence that there may be a connection with the glioma - which is a certain type of tumor that affects the brain and the spinal cord."
The panel classifies cellphones in the 2B group. Other everyday substances in that group include lead, engine exhaust, the pesticide DDT, even coffee.
Doctor Palalay describes the warning and data as compelling, but he emphasizes the evidence is limited. There COULD be a connection but scientists CAN'T definitively say cellphones cause cancer. Members of the WHO panel are giving the same caveat.
"The evidence says only POSSIBLY," explains the panel's chairman, Dr. Jonathan Samet. "And I think that is an indication that we need to continue and watch and track what is happening with brain tumors and do studies that will inform us as to whether there is a potential cause, causal link."
In the meantime, Doctor Palalay says there are simple things you can do to cut down on the risk, including texting more. "Have less activity with cellphone use, using bluetooth technology and with the earpieces, and certainly in our children, our keiki, to limit the use of cellphones," advises Palalay. Just a few tips to help the estimated five billion mobile phone subscribers out there.