Lady Gaga may have famously admitted to being afraid of cell phones and their potential cancer-causing powers, but apparently, she has nothing to worry about. According to a large-scale review by the U.K.’s Health Protection Agency (who are way more cautious than our FDA), there’s still no conclusive link to cell phone use and infertility or cancer. But, they were cautious to warn, long-term monitoring is still a good idea.
Because cell phones are still a relatively recent development (and because they’re surging in popularity and use with the advent of, you know, the internet), the HPA decided to look more carefully at their current guidelines for safe cellphone usage. And so, they examined hundreds of studies–the BBC noted that this is “the biggest ever review of the evidence surrounding the safety of mobile phones”–looking for commonalities and correlations between cancer and infertility. But overall, the experts found, there was really no strong link between the low-level radio waves that cellular devices admit and disease.
However, the HPA, who have always been pretty concerned with cell use (and have issued strict guidelines and lots of advice) is cautious to say that cellular phones are still 100% safe–and they still advise that children’s exposure should be limited. That tentative tone has lead some media outlets to vary on their interpretation of the review. But the HPA is still pretty clear on the message. From the official press release:
The HPA’s position on mobile phone technologies is in line with the AGNIR’s findings. There is still no convincing scientific evidence that RF field exposures from mobile phones and other radio technologies affect human health at exposure levels below internationally agreed guidelines.
The U.S.’s FDA released a similar review two years ago, which reached the same conclusion, but has been relatively quiet on the matter since then.
This review is, as one of the head researchers said, “relatively reassuring,” and, as cell use continue to increase, I’ll be keeping my eye on the HPA for information.