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Business mobile phone users warned of health risks

The World Health Organization (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer last week listed the signals from wireless devices, such as mobile phones, as “possibly carcinogenic”.

An international group of 31 scientists led by Dr Jonathan Samet from the University of Southern California, made the finding.

“We also carefully consider the sources of exposure of populations to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields, the nature of these fields as they come from various devices, including wireless phones, and we look carefully at the physical phenomenon by which exposure to such fields may perturb biological systems and lead to cancers,” said Samet.

While WHO’s statement does not categorically link mobile phone use to brain cancer, it signals that the health authority will be looking closely at its impact as well as the effects of mitigation strategies such as hands-free devices and texting.

CTIA, the International Association for the Wireless Telecommunications Industry, dismissed the report after pointing out that no new research had been done and that, according to the cancer research agency, mobile phone usage falls into the same cancer risk category as coffee and pickled vegetables.

However, WHO suggested that heavy users, such as business users, may be more at risk. The group called for more research into long-term, heavy use of mobile phones.

Mobile technology specialist Aaron Leibovich is the inventor of a phone cover called Cellsafe that deflects radiation. He offers these tips to stay on the safe side of mobile phone use:

  • Keep your mobile at least 15mm away from your ear when you use it.
  • Use headphones if you can.
  • Consider using a protective case which can reduce the radiation to the user.
  • Reduce your mobile phone time if you can.
  • Remember that wireless devices such as iPads also emit radiation and apply the same caution.

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Adeline Teoh

Adeline Teoh

Adeline Teoh is a journalist with more than a decade of publishing experience in the fields of business, education, travel, health, and project management. She has specialised in business since 2003.

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