The World Health Organization covers an incredible range of illness, disease, health, and conditions in our world. They co-ordinate efforts between governments and on behalf of the UN from eradicating polio to preventing drowning, childbirth to aging, food safety to emergency response.
The WHO even have work on cell phone radiation and electromagnetic fields. Which is very relevant to our interests here at WaveWall. So what’s the WHO phone radiation verdict?
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The WHO phone radiation verdict
So what does the WHO phone radiation information say? On electromagnetic fields (which mobile phones both produce and use):
Electromagnetic fields of all frequencies represent one of the most common and fastest growing environmental influences, about which anxiety and speculation are spreading. All populations are now exposed to varying degrees of EMF, and the levels will continue to increase as technology advances.
There is a huge amount of information on research, member states’ projects and meetings, databases on legislation, and much more, on the relevant WHO pages.
WHO phone radiation and cancer risks classification
One of the highlights is the WHO classification of mobile phones as possibly causing cancer. This is based on assessments by the WHO body, the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
They rate mobile phones as a group 2B carcinogen, rating mobile phone radiation as “possibly carcinogenic to humans”. Carcinogenic is the ability to cause cancer in humans. Much of the research has centred around brain cancer. There are other cancers being linked to mobile phones, such as reported cases of breast cancer. Non-cancerous tumours have also been reported as a consequence of mobile phone use, such as an Italian man who had a brain tumour and became deaf in one ear as a result of mobile phone use.
The WHO also acknowledge that these health implications can be long-term and that mobile phones are a relatively short-lived phenomenon. They say more research is needed.
…the increasing use of mobile phones and the lack of data for mobile phone use over time periods longer than 15 years warrant further research of mobile phone use and brain cancer risk. In particular, with the recent popularity of mobile phone use among younger people, and therefore a potentially longer lifetime of exposure, WHO has promoted further research on this group. Several studies investigating potential health effects in children and adolescents are underway.
The history of WHO phone radiation guidance
When the World Health Organization was set up in 1948 alongside the United Nations following the Second World War, no-one could have imagined they would end up working on the health risks of handheld computers. There’s more computing power in a modern mobile phone than was used to land Neil Armstrong on the moon. And the moon landings were still science fiction and twenty years away.
In 1948 a “computer” was mostly still a person who did maths computations. The “father of modern computing” Alan Turing and colleagues used enormous, noisy, room-filling beasts with exposed innards and ticker-tape outputs to crack codes during the war. After the war the majority of these early computers were dismantled, out of fear of spies and also an idea they had solved their problem and what else could they be of use for?
Seventy years on the WHO and the world is having to grapple with unforeseen challenges. Declining sperm counts in the West, pollution, electromagnetic smog, rocketing rates of depression and loneliness, cell phone addiction and more. These are the modern public health problems we are facing.
How can you take on these challenges?
There needs to be public pressure to continue and expand research into the long-term health effects of mobile phones. Particularly on children who will be spending their entire lives around these devices and increasing wifi and electromagnetic fields. Research into the effect of mobile phones in areas other than cancer too. Increasing numbers of studies have shown a link between mobile phone radiation and male infertility. These need to be expanded. More robust testing and legislation will be needed from governments. Especially as ever more powerful mobile phone and wifi networks dominate public space.