Update

21 July 2011

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) cancer hazard assessment

An expert group from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a specialist agency within the World Health Organization (WHO), has announced its cancer hazard assessment for radiofrequency signals (RF), including those from broadcast, mobile communications, microwaves and radar.

IARC has classified RF as “possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B), based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer, associated with wireless phone use”. The full findings will be published in 2012.

In an article published in The Lancet Oncology Volume 12, Issue 7, the IARC Working Group stated that: “The Working Group concluded that there is “limited evidence in humans” for the carcinogenicity of RF-EMF…. A few members of the Working Group considered the current evidence in humans “inadequate”…. up to now, reported time trends in incidence rates of glioma have not shown a parallel to temporal trends in mobile phone use”.

Commenting on the findings, Dr Jack Rowley, GSM Association Director for Research and Sustainability said “The IARC classification suggests that a hazard is possible but not likely”.

To understand the potential level of risk, the IARC classification will be part of a wider health risk assessment undertaken by the WHO. Based on this assessment the WHO, governments and public health authorities will decide what further advice, if any, is needed.

The latest WHO fact sheet, published in June 2011, concluded that to date no adverse health effects had been established as being caused by mobile phone use. Read a summary of advice from the WHO.

We recognise that people may be concerned by this classification and we continue to offer advice on reducing exposure.

Commitments and goals

The health and safety of our customers, employees, contractors and the public is of paramount importance to Vodafone. Our vision is to lead the industry in responding to public concerns about mobile devices, masts and health by demonstrating leading edge practices and encouraging others to follow.

How mobiles work

Mobile devices use radio waves, also called radio frequency (RF) fields, to send and receive calls, texts, emails, pictures, web, TV and downloads.

How mobiles work

Mobile devices use radio waves, also called radio frequency (RF) fields, to send and receive calls, texts, emails, pictures, web, TV and downloads.

Base stations and health

Mobile devices cannot work without base stations. Our comprehensive network of base stations allows us to keep improving our coverage and to introduce new services such as video calling, internet and mobile TV. Read more about how base stations work. Most people welcome improved coverage and services, but we recognise that expanding our network can sometimes cause concern, usually about the visual impact of base stations or health issues concerning radio frequency (RF) fields.

Mobiles and health

The vast majority of experts agree that mobile devices do not produce enough RF energy to cause long-term changes in the body.

Addressing concern

Our vision is to lead the industry in responding to public concerns regarding mobile devices, masts and health by demonstrating leading edge practices and encouraging others to follow.

Scientific research

There have been thousands of scientific studies into the effects of radio frequency (RF) fields on health. Scientists know more about this than they do about most chemicals. Find out more about the scientific process.

More information

We encourage wider understanding of the science of radio frequency and health. This page contains external links to sources of authoritative information.

Frequently asked questions

We designed this website to provide straightforward information about mobile devices, masts and health for customers and the public. If you couldn’t find what you were looking for, these commonly asked questions may help.