Researchers find link between cell phones and cancer

The National Toxicology Program study examined the effects of a radio frequency associated with 1990s-era cellphone technology which fell out of routine use years ago

The National Toxicology Program study examined the effects of a radio frequency associated with 1990s-era cellphone technology which fell out of routine use years ago

The results of a massive study involving the effect of high levels of radio frequency radiation used in mobile phones on rats may be a warning sign for humans: the male rats developed cancerous heart, brain and adrenal gland cancerous tumors.

Strangely, however, the studies found that exposure in male rats actually lengthened their lifespan, possibly linked with a decrease in chronic kidney problems found in older rats.

Scientists also studied radiation effects on female rats and mice, and found equivocal evidence as to whether cancers observed were associated with exposure.

In the NTP studies, the report notes, exposure was way more than what happens through average duration of cellphone usage. "The exposures used in the studies can not be compared directly to the exposure that humans experience when using a cell phone", Bucher said in a news release. But he cautioned that the exposure levels and durations were far more significant than what people typically encounter, and thus can not "be compared directly to the exposure that humans experience".

The levels the rodents experienced were far higher than people are typically exposed to. The highest exposure level was four times greater than the maximum power level allowed.

The study saw its rats subjected to the lowest exposure level that is equal to the maximum local tissue exposure now allowed for cell phone users.

The controversial heart tumors, known as schwannomas, were only seen in male rats, and the risks of harm didn't increase along with the dose of radiation, as experts might have expected, he said.

The $30 million NTP studies took more than 10 years to complete and are the most comprehensive assessment, to date, of health effects in animals exposed to RFR with modulations used in 2G and 3G cell phones. 2G and 3G networks were standard when the studies were designed and are still used for phone calls and texting.

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One of the strengths of the studies was that scientists could control how much radiation the rats and mice were getting, which isn't possible when studying how humans use cell phones, Wyde said. The animals were exposed to a total of 9 hours of radiation per day, in 10-minutes sessions. RFR levels ranged from 1.5 to 6 watts per kilogram in rats, and 2.5 to 10 watts per kilogram in mice.

Experts have warned the results of the studies aren't likely to reflect 5G technology as it is still emerging.

"From what we now understand, it likely differs dramatically from what we studied". These may include changes in metrics like DNA damage in exposed tissues, which can be detected much sooner than cancer.

The Food and Drug Administration said it concurs that the research doesn't indicate people have any risk of cancer from using cellphones. The NTP does have concerns the study will be criticized because they did use outdated technology, so they're working on building exposure chambers that will allow them to evaluate newer technologies, The New York Times reports."We do think the tumor responses here are real", John Bucher, senior scientist of the NTP, told BuzzFeed News during a telephone briefing to reporters.

More information on the categories is available at https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/results/pubs/longterm/defs/index.html.

While this suggestion has been dismissed by a number of researchers, studies undertaken over a number of years by the US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences appears to have found evidence that, at the outset, would appear to confirm these fears.

Now, the organization is back with more worrying news.

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