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Cell Phone Cancer Fears
RCS News
06/29/01

New research conducted by Australian scientists claims that cell-phone manufacturers could be responsible for generating more than half a billion cancer cases worldwide in the near future. While this report has been authored by leading Australian medical academics and has the support of many leading individuals within the profession, it has been rejected by Australia?s telecom industry.

The new study said that radio-frequency (RF) radiation from cell phones could cause cancer by forcing the body to produce unusual levels of heat shock proteins. The findings could, according to the researchers, be the missing link in cell-phone cancer research. Several studies have identified a heating of body tissues that occurs while using a cell phone, but thus far researchers have failed to pinpoint a mechanism by which that heating actually causes cancer. The cell-phone industry has denied that any heating that occurs would lead to cancer, and no studies have proven the industry wrong.

The Italian telecom regulator has added fuel to this debate by warning that third-generation (3G) networks may breach legal radiation levels. Telecom Commissioner Alessandro Luciano was reported as saying it may be illegal for 3G operators in Italy to build their networks. He claimed the country?s strict limits on electromagnetic radiation could be breached if two transmitters are built within 15 miles to 40 miles of each other, thereby making it impossible for 3G operators to deploy a fully featured network. Mobile operators have responded to this statement by claiming that Luciano is sensationalizing the situation to ensure guidelines are drawn up.