Your Cell Phone Usage May Increase the Risk of Cancer: WHO

Few years back, the trend of using cell phone as a luxury has now became a necessity for every human. The latest statistics say that, more than half of the world’s population is using cell phones and an estimated 5 billion cell phones are present all over the world. Recently, a study published by United Nations University stated that India has more mobile phones than toilets. These numbers though indicate the increased use of technology, they also indirectly point out the increased risk for humans due to high usage of technology, especially cell phones in our day to day life.

There were many myths and rumors regarding the harmful effects caused by cell phones to humans, but recently with the latest research conducted by an agency within World Health Organization, these myths and rumors were found to be facts. This study, which got published in July edition of Lancet Oncology, has stated that prolonged usage of cell phones increases the risk of two types of tumors, among which one causes cancer.

Tumors causing cancer

According to the panel of 31 international scientists convened by an agency within the World Health Organization, the energy emitted by the cellphones increases the risk of two types of rare tumors – Glioma, a type of brain cancer and Acoustic Neuroma, a non-cancerous tumor of the nerve that runs from ear to the brain.

Though the scientists have also made it clear that these studies don’t show that cell phone usage definitely increases the risk of cancer, but from the limited scientific evidence, it can be confirmed that, the radio frequency energy released by cell phones can double the risk of these tumors.

Though the cases of Glioma and acoustic neuroma are very rare all through the world, it is better to be aware of this fact since the number of mobile users is increasing every day.

Other researches

Besides the report submitted by W.H.O, there are also some other studies and surveys which made these claims strong.

  • An International Agency for Research on Cancer, which develops scientific cancer-prevention strategies for the WHO, categorized cell phone usage by humans as ‘possible carcinogenic’.
  • According to the multi-country Interphone studies, coordinated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as well as research by Swedish cancer researcher Lennart Hardell, showed that, people who used a cellphone for 10 or more years had a doubled risk of Glioma.
  • Another study showed that the risk of getting affected by Glioma increases by 40% for people who use cellphone on an average of 30 minutes a day over a 10-year period.
  • A 2004 study showed that, continuous usage of cell phones for 10 years doubles the risk of acoustic neuromas and the risk is higher for tumors on the side of the head where people use to place the phones while talking.

Finally, the bottom line of this report (WHO) was to educate people about the harm in their hands. The panel also gave some suggestions to the cell phone users, like using headsets, speaker phones, and text messaging which can reduce the radiations reaching the brain and thus reduces the risk of cancers.

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