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Cell Phones Pose Tumor Risk, Report Says

The World Health Organization underestimated the risk of brain tumors from cell-phone use, a report argues.

SEOUL (TheStreet) -- The world will face "one hell of a brain-tumor pandemic" if cell phones are used at the current rate, according to Lloyd Morgan, a U.S. researcher and activist who presented his findings this week at the annual Bioelectromagnetics Society in Seoul.

In a new report, Morgan parses and disputes the

findings of Interphone

, a 10-year study sponsored by the World Health Organization.

While Interphone didn't find an increased risk of tumors among cell-phone users, scientists acknowledged that the study commenced during a time when


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iPhones and

Research in Motion


BlackBerrys weren't glued to uders' heads several hours a day.

Morgan's report,

Re-evaluation of the Interphone Study: Applications of a Correction Factor

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, argues that every year of excessive cell-phone use increases the risk of meningimas -- brain membrane tumors -- by as much as 26%.

"What we have discovered indicates there is going to be one hell of a brain-tumor pandemic unless people are warned and encouraged to change current cell-phone use behaviors," Morgan said in a statement. "Governments should not soft-pedal this critical public-health issue but instead rapidly educate citizens on the risks."

A longtime critic of Interphone, Morgan was also lead author of a study last summer called

Cell Phones and Brain Tumors: 15 Reasons for Concern

, in which he notes that many cell-phone user manuals actually warn against too much contact. For instance, the user guide for Research in Motion's BlackBerry 8300 says: "If you do not use a body-worn accessory supplied or approved by RIM when you carry the BlackBerry device, keep the device at least 0.98 inch (25 millimeters) from your body when the BlackBerry device is turned on and connected to a wireless network. When using any data feature of the BlackBerry device, with or without a USB cable, keep the device at least 0.98 inches from your body."

And from the Apple iPhone guide: "For body-worn operation, iPhone's SAR measurement may exceed the FCC exposure guidelines if positioned less than 15 millimeters (0.63 inch) from the body." The company recommends that when people talk on the iPhone, they hold it "with the 30-pin connector pointed down toward your shoulder to increase separation from the antenna."

-- Reported by Carmen Nobel in Boston.

>>New Study Cites Cancer Risk of Cell Phones

>>Cell-phone, Cancer Link Proves Inconclusive

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