A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

IARC RF–Cancer Summary Published in Lancet Oncology

June 22, 2011

A short summary of the IARC Working Group's decision to classify radiofrequency (RF) radiation as a "possible human carcinogen" (2B) was posted this morning on the Web pages of Lancet Oncology.

IARC has not paid for the two-page summary to be open access. [IARC later changed its mind and it is now a free download.]

Here is one key conclusion of the working group:

"Although both the Interphone study and the Swedish pooled analysis are susceptible to bias —due to recall error and selection for participation— the working group concluded that the findings could not be dismissed as reflecting bias alone, and that a causal interpretation between mobile phone RF–EMF exposure and glioma is possible. A similar conclusion was drawn from these two studies for acoustic neuroma, although the case numbers were substantially smaller than for glioma. Additionally, a study from Japan found some evidence of an increased risk for acoustic neuroma associated with ipsilateral mobile phone use."


The Interphone study was published last year (see also our report). The Swedish analysis refers to the work of Lennart Hardell and coworkers. The Japanese study on acoustic neuroma appeared in Bioelectromagnetics.

IARC reports that the 2B classification "was supported by a large majority of working group members."