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Investors dismiss cellphone cancer study Add to ...

Can you get cancer from using a cellphone? The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer classified cellphone use as "possibly carcinogenic" in a long-awaited report that sheds some light on the subject of the now-ubiquitous technology.

This rather vague pronouncement nonetheless puts cellphones in the same cancer-risk category as coffee - as in, it could be harmful, but they're not exactly sure - but it seems that investors are shrugging off the warning with their afternoon espressos: Stocks of wireless providers were mixed in afternoon trading on Tuesday.

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Verizon Communications Inc. was up 0.2 per cent and AT&T Inc. was up 0.4 per cent. In Canada, Telus Corp. was down 0.4 per cent and Rogers Communications Inc. was down 0.1 per cent, but BCE Inc. was up 0.1 per cent.

Could this be those long-term contracts at work? Unfortunately, it is difficult to gauge the impact of the WHO report on smartphone makers because they were buffeted by a different news source: Nokia Corp.'s profit warning. The Finland-based smartphone maker fell 13.8 per cent on Tuesday and Canada's Research In Motion Ltd. was caught in the down-draft, falling 4 per cent.

Apple Inc. was the notable exception: The iPhone maker rose 2.4 per cent, and not out of any apparent health benefits. Instead, investors welcomed news that the company's much-admired chief executive, Steve Jobs, will appear at the Worldwide Developer Conference on June 6th, unveiling the Apple's upcoming software.

Follow on Twitter: @dberman_ROB

 
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