May 31 2011
By Mike Mulvihill
Mobile apps are all the rage, and why not. Five billion mobile users worldwide (nearly 75 percent of the world population). It is a massive market with lots of research that predicts how everything we do online and electronically will eventually become the bastion of the cell phone.
That is unless cell phones are slowly killing us. The International Agency for Research on Cancer, the cancer arm of the World Health Organization announced this morning that it has now categorized cell phone radiation as a “carcinogenic hazard.” The same label WHO has attached to DDT, lead, engine exhaust and chloroform. In a press release, the WHO said the new warning is “based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer, associated with wireless phone use.” The announcement came after a weeklong meeting of experts. They reviewed possible links between cancer and the type of electromagnetic radiation found in cellphones, microwaves and radar.
Ah, how we love to jump on the “bad for you” band wagon. But let’s look at little further. So before you Google “brain tumor self-examination,” there are a few things to consider:
As PR people, we can make a business out of ballyhooing research to make a point. While this research will get plenty of press, it doesn’t prove a causal link. There’s just not enough data to make that conclusion. But the lack of proof that there is no negative impact becomes the story. Sensationalism rings awfully familiar here. Regardless, I think we’re going to have a tough time getting everyone to put down their cell phones. That includes me, so feel free to call.