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Cell Phones May Be Tied to Higher Risk of Glioma

Panel concludes cell phones are 'potentially carcinogenic to humans'

TUESDAY, May 31 (HealthDay News) -- Cell phones may be associated with an increased risk of brain cancer, a panel of experts reporting to the World Health Organization (WHO) announced May 31.

The panel reviewed dozens of studies that explored a possible link between cell phones and cancer and concluded that cell phones are "possibly carcinogenic to humans," placing them in the same category as DDT and gasoline engine exhaust. The panel determined that glioma specifically may be associated with cell phone use.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) panel was composed of scientists from 14 countries, who met for eight days to review exposure data, studies of cancer in humans and animals, and other relevant information. It will present its findings to the WHO, which may issue recommendations on safe cell phone use. Previously, the WHO has said cell phones are safe to use.

"Given the potential consequences for public health of this classification and findings, it is important that additional research be conducted into the long-term, heavy use of mobile phones. Pending the availability of such information, it is important to take pragmatic measures to reduce exposure such as hands-free devices or texting," IARC director Christopher Wild, Ph.D., said in a statement.

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