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WHO/IARC Say Mobile Phone Use May Increase Risk Of Certain Brain Cancers

Mobile phone use “may increase the risk of certain types of brain cancer in humans,” therefore “consumers should consider ways of reducing their exposure,” a WHO/International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) working group concluded on Tuesday, Reuters reports (Kelland, 5/31). “The working group discussed the possibility that these exposures might induce long-term health effects, in particular an increased risk for glioma, a type of brain cancer, according to WHO and IARC,” the U.N. News Centre writes (5/31).

In a press release, the agencies said consumers should use headsets or texting until additional data can be collected on the issue (5/31). The Associated Press/Washington Post notes that the IARC also lists alcoholic drinks as a known carcinogen and night shift work as a probable carcinogen, adding that “[c]lassifying agents as ‘possibly carcinogenic’ doesn’t mean they automatically cause cancer and some experts said the ruling shouldn’t change people’s cellphone habits” (6/1).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.