Cellphone Guidelines

How much time do you spend on your cellphone? Health Canada now has guidelines on how to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, even though it says there is no conclusive evidence that cancer and cellphone use are linked.

The department recommends users limit the length of their calls, make use of text messaging or hands-free accessories and encourage children under the age of 18 to limit their usage all together. The new advice is targeted primarily at heavy users and children.

The advice comes after a study by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, found that radio-frequency electromagnetic fields from cellphones could be possibly carcinogenic to humans based on the increased risk for glioma, a type of brain cancer, associated with wireless phone use.

Health Canada characterized the WHO’s finding of “possibly carcinogenic” as meaning there is a need for more research to reach a definitive conclusion.

Health Canada says the guidelines are part of an ongoing review of research looking at the health effects of radio-frequency emissions — including cellphones, radio signals and TV broadcasts. The department updated its guidelines in 2009 and the next update is expected in 2012.

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