ICMR to examine WHO study on cellphone use

New Delhi: India`s top medical research body ICMR is not yet ready to accept the WHO observations that heavy cellphone use could possibly cause brain cancers, saying it will examine the basis of this study while pursuing its own independent survey before taking a final view.

"We will look into all the details of the WHO study to find out the data on the basis of which they have brought out these results. We will conduct an analysis of that," Indian Council for Medical Research Director General V M Katoch said.

"The ICMR is also conducting its own independent research on this. We will then take a holistic view. It will be wrong to come at a conclusion now. Before taking a final view, we will study further," he told PTI.

Katoch said the results of ICMR`s study on the effects of use of mobile phones are expected to come next year. The research was launched in May last year.

Heavy use of cellphones and other wireless communication devices could possibly cause cancer, the WHO`s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) had said on Monday.

The electromagnetic fields generated by such devices are "possibly carcinogenic to humans," it said but cautioned that current scientific evidence showed only a possible link, not a proven one, between wireless devices and cancers.

The ICMR study is focusing on various aspects like impact on reproductive health and neuro-disorders due to excessive use of cell phones. It is looking into whether cellphone use or proximity to cellular transmission tower impact a woman`s menstrual cycle or a man`s sperm count, their sleep pattern or general behaviour.