The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified the radiofrequency fields generated by cell phones as "possibly carcinogenic to humans." With billions of people around the world using cell phones on a regular basis, any link between cell phones and cancer would represent a major public health risk. What does the science say? Has enough research been done? And can existing studies be trusted?
Yes, cell phones increase the risk of cancer.Show moreShow less
There is enough evidence to conclude cell phones are linked to cancer.
Cell phones emit radiofrequency radiation, which has been shown to have distinct biological effects. Heating occurs when the radiation from cell phones is absorbed by the body, and at least one study has shown a higher incidence of tumors in rats exposed to high levels of cell phone radiation. Given that the human body also absorbs this radiation, it makes sense to conclude that cell phones can cause cancer in humans as well.
When turned on, cell phones and other wireless devices emit RF radiation continually, even if they are not being actively used, because they are always communicating with cell towers. The dose intensity tails off with increasing distance from the body, and reaches a maximum when the devices are used next to the head during phone calls or in front of the body during texting or tweeting.
A few epidemiology studies have reported higher rates of tumors inside the skull among people who use cell phones heavily for 10 years or more. Of particular concern are benign Schwann cell tumors called acoustic neuromas, which affect nerve cells connecting the inner ear with structures inside the brain. These growths can in some instances progress to malignant cancer with time.
[P1] Cell phones emit radiation.
[P2] The human body absorbs radiation.
[P3] The radiation emitted by cell phones could cause cancer in humans.