Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/07/25/cancer_doc_mobile_phone_warning/

Cancer doc issues mobile phone warning

But only to his staff and based on unpublished results

By James Sherwood

Posted in Phones, 25th July 2008 10:23 GMT

Reports have told us that mobile phones don’t increase the risk of brain cancer, others have stated the opposite. However, one doctor has issued a warning that mobile phone use should be limited, based on the findings of an unpublished medical study.

According to a report by the International Herald Tribune, Dr Ronald Herberman, a tumour immunologist from the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, earlier this week issued the warning to his 3000 faculty and staff that handset use should be limited because of a possible cancer risk.

“Really at the heart of my concern is that we shouldn't wait for a definitive study to come out, but err on the side of being safe rather than sorry later,” Herberman said.

Children seem to be at the heart of Herberman’s concern, because their brains are still developing. Although, in the warning, he said that adults should keep phones away from their heads and use the speakerphone or a wireless headset wherever possible.

Herberman also said that mobile phone users should try to avoid using their phones in confined public places, like buses, because electromagnetic fields emitted by their phones could be exposed to other people.

It’s not yet known what nuggets of information Herberman has been exposed to in this unpublished report. But the resulting warning also said that there’s a “growing body of literature linking long-term cellphone use to possible adverse health effects including cancer”.

Prolonged mobile phone use was identified as potentially more damaging to your health than smoking or asbestos, by a report published earlier this year. Conversely, a study by the Tokyo Women’s Medical University failed to find any evidence that mobile phone use can lead to brain cancer.