While the safety of cell phones has been under question for a while, a move by the World Health Organization is making these devices look all the more precarious. Yesterday, the WHO added mobile phone use to its list of carcinogenic hazards, a category that includes such toxins as lead and engine exhaust. This comes after previous assurances from the organization that cell phones were not found to pose any serious health risks.
What led to this rather weighty decision? A review by 31 scientists from 14 countries concluded that studies on cell phone use provided enough evidence to label cell phones as potentially hazardous to humans. Researchers found that holding a smartphone close to your face could possibly increase the risk of glioma and acoustic neuroma brain cancer.
Still, as scientists and researchers emphasize, the effects of exposure to environmental factors such as cell phone radiation manifest over time, so studies on the adverse effects of smartphone use are by no means comprehensive. If anything, though, this means there may be even more risks to holding a mobile phone up to your ear; speaking with CNN, Dr. Keith Black of the neurology department at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center said that other potential risks of cell phone use include impaired cognitive memory function.
While the debate over the safety of cell phones is hardly over, in the meantime you can do something to ease your mobile find. Check out our roundup of phones with the lowest radiation levels.