Cell phone users react to new warning

June 1, 2011 (CHICAGO)

The study from the World Health Organization concludes that there could be risk. While scientists say the evidence is still accumulating, they want to keep a close watch to the possible link between cell phones and cancer.

In Chicago, the report was received but apparently not many are heeding the warning.

An array of products is available for cell phone users if they are looking to get some distance from their cell phones. Radio shack on Michigan Avenue has seen customers looking for just that.

"I've seen quite a few who've asked ways to minimize it. 'Can I get an ear piece, will that cut down the radiation in my brain,'" said Shawn Thomas who works at Radio Shack.

A new classification puts cell phone use as a possible carcinogen from the World Health Organization.

"What the World Health Organization is saying now is that they just don't. Additional work needs to be done and in the meantime it's prudent for people to take steps to decrease their exposure the time on their cell phone and the closeness of cell phone to our heads," said Dr. Richard Besser, ABC medical editor.

Parents of teens know that getting cell phones away from their kids may be tricky. ABC7 asked a group of young ladies to describe the importance of their cell phones.

"It's very important because I can use it to contact my friends and my family," said Claire Miller.

"Very critical for setting up plans and seeing where they are," said Helena Harmon.

ABC's medical editor Dr. Richard Besser says the new classification is more information for parents.

"Children are different. They are developing, their brains are developing, their skulls are thinner. If there is a risk, you would think children would be at greater risk," said Dr. Besser.

Despite the discussion sparked by the WHO, some cell phone users aren't changing their habits.

"I wasn't too concerned about it. A couple of years back they said the same thing. But you are going to need your cell phone. I can't live without my cell phone," said Zneita Davis.

"It is a concern it's been a concern for quite some time, but I'm not really that that concerned about it at this point," said Deb Grinbarg.

Dr. Besser suggests cell phone users - especially children - use a hand-free method so the phone isn't next to the head. He also has a recommendation for younger users: do more texting than talking.

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