In today’s press release on radiofrequency electromagnetic fields, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) announced it has classified the exposure to radiation from cell phones and other similar radiation-emitting devices (radar, microwaves, radio, television) as a Group 2B carcinogenic risk. To put that into perspective, the IARC has five classifications:
- Group 1 – carcinogenic to humans
- Group 2A – probably carcinogenic to humans
- Group 2B – possibly carcinogenic to humans
- Group 3 – not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans
- Group 4 – probably not carcinogenic to humans
There are several hundred items classified as Group 2B, ranging from talc-based body powder to surgical implants made from nickel to titanium dioxide (used in paint, sunscreens and food coloring). Coffee is also a 2B item even though recent studies show that coffee drinking lowers the rate of prostate cancer.
While this news may be scary, I still believe in the old adage of “moderation in everything” — try to limit your cell phone use and use a headset if possible, but don’t let this news make you go back to smoke signals and the telegraph.
Photo by Nemo’s great uncle.