Increase criticism of the WHO alert for cell phone use

A great international malaise has provoked the recent announcement of the World Health Organization (WHO) that him cell phone It could cause cancer. In accordance with Emilio Alba , president of the Spanish Society of Medical Oncology , "What they have done has been to create a lot of alarm, it has been like throwing a stone in a pond where the waves are spreading. The population has integrated the mobile in their life irreversibly. Our work has changed, our way of relating. It's not like tobacco, which when faced with the evidence that it's bad to leave it, but you can ask people to leave it. " WHO , through the International Agency for Research of the Cancer, reported the results of the report on the possible radiation of cell phones has been, at least, imprudent. According to specialists in public health of Spain, where this news has caused more commotion, the international organization has experience in this kind of blunders in the face of public opinion, as has already happened with the influenza A epidemic.


Inform or not inform, there is this dilemma

For the director of Public and Environmental Health of WHO, María Neira , the key to this situation is that the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is an independent group of scientists that makes reports for scientists, not for the general public. "That's why it's full of conditionals. It does not say that there is scientific evidence that cell phones cause cancer; he says 'it could be', 'maybe'. "Normally, when the IARC meets, nobody listens to him. What more would I like to have been heeded when he got the report on the sunbeds , whose carcinogenic effect is proven! "This time, the difference is that it is a factor that has always been under suspicion, it was the first time that the possible carcinogenic effects of these were evaluated. radiations .


The disconnection between the political and the scientific

The uncertainty also harms health . The announcement by IARC last Tuesday is also affecting the position that Secretaries and Ministries of Health around the world should take. It is assumed that before an announcement of this nature, the WHO must propose standards of action that must be followed in all countries. In this case, the WHO he has not spoken about it, nor has he issued any package of recommendations. What shows the disconnection that exists between the political and the scientific. "When you are going to give a news of these, you have to give feasible answers for people," he says. José Martínez Olmos , Secretary General of Health of the Ministry of Health of Spain.

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