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WHO thinks mobile phones might cause cancer

The World Health Organisation thinks mobile phones may give you brain cancer, but it can't be certain.

Experts from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) spent eight days rifling through what evidence they could find on the matter in a meeting in the French city of Lyon and concluded that they weren't sure.

The radio-frequency electromagnetic fields generated by mobile phones are "possibly carcinogenic to humans" they said. They think it might be best to just text or use hands-free add-ons, just to be on the safe side. You could even use the old-fangled land line.

President of the work group Jonathan Samet reckoned he and his chums had seen evidence suggesting an increasing incidence of the malignant brain-boggling cancer glioma, after a review of "the human evidence coming from epidemiological studies".

"There is some evidence of increased risk of glioma," Kurt Straif, editor of the IARC reports on cancer-causing agents said in a telephonic press briefing. "But it is not at the moment clearly established that the use of mobile phones does, in fact, cause cancer in humans," he added.

He said that, if there was a danger it was at its greatest when using a mobile for voice call. "If you use it for texting, or as a hands-free set for voice calls, this is clearly lowering the exposure by at least an order of magnitude," he said.

The findings were met with hoots of derision from the mobile phone industry, which generates more money each year than war, prostitution and gambling put together.

Last year's review the IARC concluded that there was no link between cell phones and brain cancer. It's a panel of 31 scientists from 14 countries, seems to have found something that put the willies up them.