The World Health Organization has published a report saying radiation from cell phones could cause cancer, information that one industry organization disputes strongly.

The WHO's report says a group of 31 scientists from 14 different countries met at the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France and determined there were potential potential carcinogenic hazards from exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields.  

After reviewing all the evidence available, the IARC working group classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans. We reached this conclusion based on a review of human evidence showing increased risk of glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer, in association with wireless phone use, Jonathan Samet, MD, chair of preventive medicine at the USC Keck School of Medicine and panel chairman said at a press conference.

WHO said heavy use of cell phones may or may not cause cancer, it wasn't definitive. However, it said when cell phones are held tightly to the head, there is an increasing exposure to magnetic fields. The panel determined research must be done in regards to figuring out the risks of cell phone use. Until these conclusions have been reached, WHO says it is important to take pragmatic measures to reduce exposure such as hands?free devices or texting.

The International Association for the Wireless Telecommunications Industry, the CTIA, however disputed the claims made by WHO. The organization said the data is based on limited evidence. They likened it to similar reports from WHO on pickled vegetables and coffee.

The IARC working group did not conduct any new research, but rather reviewed published studies. Based on previous assessments of the scientific evidence, the Federal Communications Commission has concluded that '[t]here's no scientific evidence that proves that wireless phone usage can lead to cancer.' The Food and Drug Administration has also stated that '[t]he weight of scientific evidence has not linked cellphones with any health problems, John Walls, vice presiden of public affairs for the CTIA, said in a statement.

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