PITTSBURGH: The head of a prominent cancer research institute issued an unprecedented warning to his faculty and staff on Wednesday: Limit cell phone use because of the possible risk of cancer.

The warning from Ronald B. Herberman, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, is contrary to numerous studies that do not find a link between cancer and cell phone use, and a public lack of worry by the FDA .

Dr. Herberman is basing his alarm on early unpublished data. He says it takes too long to get answers from science and he believes people should take action now — especially when it comes to children. “Really at the heart of my concern is that we shouldn’t wait for a definitive study to come out, but err on the side of being safe rather than sorry later.”

No other major academic cancer research institutions have sounded such an alarm. But Dr. Herberman’s advice is sure to raise concern among many cell phone users, especially parents. — AP