Health

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WHO Study May Link Cell Phones to Cancer

June 12, 2008 10:37 AM
by Colleen Brondou
The 13-country study may answer questions about possible links between cell phone use and cancer, but some charge that industry pressure has repeatedly delayed its release.

30-Second Summary

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The Interphone research project, a 13-country study coordinated by the World Health Organization, was supposed to be published in 2006 but the final manuscript has been continually delayed.

Microwave News
, an independent newsletter, says researchers are bowing to outside pressure “to keep the lid on.”

meanwhile cell phone–cancer links have been a subject of growing debate.

In early 2008, Dr. Vini Khuranain said that cell phone use is more dangerous to human health than smoking or asbestos, but many researchers disagreed, pointing to years of evidence that there is no link to cancer.

However, public concern rose again when three brain surgeons told talk-show host Larry King that they don’t hold cell phones next to their ears. One of them, Dr. Keith Black, said, “My concern is that with the widespread use of cellphones, the worst scenario would be that we get the definitive study 10 years from now, and we find out there is a correlation.”

Although Black didn’t name any specific “definitive study,” he may have been referring to the long-delayed Interphone research. Several individual countries involved in the Interphone study published their own results, with some preliminary findings pointing to an increased risk of cancer with cell phone use of over 10 years’ duration.

Israeli scientist Siegal Sadetzki worries that the numerous studies refuting any link to cancer may not have lasted long enough. “It takes at least 10, 20 or 30 years to see exposure to cancer,” Sadetzki says.

Headline Link: Possible link between cell phones and cancer reexamined

Background: Cell phones deemed worse than asbestos or smoking

Opinion & Analysis: Making cell phone warnings heard

Related Topic: Cell phones may pose other health risks

Reference: Guide to cancer

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