Wireless Industry Responds to Report Linking Cell Phone Use to Cancer

By Beecher Tuttle June 03, 2011

A high ranking AT&T official on Thursday responded to a controversial new report linking cell phone usage to brain cancer, calling it a “serious issue” that needed more study.

However, Ralph de la Vega, chief executive of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets, was also quick to point out that Tuesday's report was not based on any new knowledge, but rather on studies that were conducted at least a year ago, according to the AFP.

De la Vega's comments come on the heels of a highly publicized release from the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as “possibly” carcinogenic to humans. The classification came after a week-long conference in Lyon, France, where 31 international scientists from 14 countries reviewed a myriad of studies that looked at the effects of electromagnetic radiation.

“This is a serious issue,” De la Vega said at the All Things Digital D9 conference in California, but “the WHO didn't do any new study.”

“The industry should not have too much to worry about; nevertheless, we should continue to study” the matter, he added, according to the AFP.

Dr. Jonathan Samet and his colleagues from the Working Group at the IARC said that the evidence was strong enough to support a conclusion that there is “some risk“ between cell phone usage and an increased risk of glioma, a malignant form of brain cancer. The group stressed that much more research needs to be conducted to validate the association.

In the meantime, IARC Director Christopher Wild has recommended that cell phone users take “pragmatic measures” to minimize their exposure to electromagnetic radiation, including relying more on texting and hands-free devices.

As expected, the scientific community's response to the report has been mixed. Many researchers – including physicist Bernard Leikind – found the analyzed data to be highly “questionable.”

“They ignore the century of physics research that strongly establishes the facts,” says Leikind in a CNN editorial.

The wireless industry's organization, the CTIA, immediately disparaged the report, noting that the IARC previously categorized pickled vegetables and coffee as possible carcinogens, according to Media Post.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. ITEXPO offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.

Beecher Tuttle is a TechZone360 contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

TechZone360 Contributor

Related Articles

6 Challenges of 5G, and the 9 Pillars of Assurance Strategy

By: Special Guest    9/17/2018

To make 5G possible, everything will change. The 5G network will involve new antennas and chipsets, new architectures, new KPIs, new vendors, cloud di…

Read More

Putting the Flow into Workflow, Paessler and Briefery Help Businesses Operate Better

By: Cynthia S. Artin    9/14/2018

The digital transformation of business is generating a lot of value, through more automation, more intelligence, and ultimately more efficiency.

Read More

From Mainframe to Open Frameworks, Linux Foundation Fuels Up with Rocket Software

By: Special Guest    9/6/2018

Last week, at the Open Source Summit, hosted by The Linux Foundation, the Open Mainframe Project gave birth to Zowe, introduced a new open source soft…

Read More

Unified Office Takes a Trip to the Dentist Office

By: Cynthia S. Artin    9/6/2018

Not many of us love going to see the dentist, and one company working across unified voice, productivity and even IoT systems is out to make the exper…

Read More

AIOps Outfit Moogsoft Launches Observe

By: Paula Bernier    8/30/2018

Moogsoft Observe advances the capabilities of AIOps to help IT teams better manage their services and applications in the face of a massive proliferat…

Read More