Status: Trending past rumor to serious possibility, thanks to a new WHO report.
The World Health Organization has announced that experts have deemed the use of cell phones to be “possibly carcinogenic.” According to the news release, “The WHO/International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans… based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer, associated with wireless phone use.” Or, in less scientific terms, yikes. Long dismissed as the stuff of urban legend, the alleged connection between mobile devices and horrifying illness suddenly takes on a seriousness that is hard to ignore, and seems certain to fuel extensive research and debate for years to come. Already, we’d guess, it’s causing a lot of people to feel a little funny about their beloved cell phones — and the phones they give their kids. However things play out, there’s no doubt that workplace tools – and the modern workplace itself — can be hazardous to your health in a surprisingly wide variety of ways.
Ed Cone has worked as a contributing editor at Wired, a staff writer at Forbes, a senior writer for Ziff Davis with Baseline and Interactive Week, and as a freelancer based in Paris and then North Carolina for a wide variety of magazines and papers including the International Herald Tribune, Texas Monthly, and Playboy. He writes an opinion column in his hometown paper, the Greensboro News & Record, and publishes the semi-popular EdCone.com weblog. He lives in North Carolina with his wife, Lisa, two kids, and a dog.
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