Researchers find link between cell phones and cancer

Henrietta Strickland
November 5, 2018

When exposed to radio frequency radiation like that used in 2G and 3G cellphones, male rats developed heart tumors, and there was also evidence of tumors in the brain and adrenal gland.

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 National Toxicology Program initiated a study with 3,000 rodents to determine whether or not cell phones could cause cancer back during the Clinton administration, and the final results of that $30 million effort have finally been released.

These studies did not investigate the types of RFR used for Wi-Fi or 5G networks.

Exposure to RFR began in the womb for rats and at five to six weeks old for mice, and continued for up to two years, or most of their natural lifetime.

Cell phones emit radio frequency radiation (RFR) that scientists have long anxious could cause cancer.

"5G is an emerging technology that hasn't really been defined yet". It is considered the most comprehensive assessment to date of the effects of RFR from modulations used in 2G and 3G cell phones. "From what we now understand, it likely differs dramatically from what we studied", said Michael Wyde, lead toxicologist on the studies.

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.

"The results of these studies remain relevant to current exposures, although the power levels of the exposures were much higher than typical patterns of human use".

However, those tempted to toss away today's most important tool of communications may want to consider that the study's researchers did specify the levels of radiation the rats were subjected to were not comparable to those humans are exposed to.

"Based on our ongoing evaluation of this issue, the totality of the available scientific evidence continues to not support adverse health effects in humans caused by exposures at or under the current radiofrequency energy exposure limits". "We follow the guidance of experts when it comes to cellphones and health effects".

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.

"If scientists can better understand biological changes in animals, they will know more about what to look for in humans", the NTP said in its fact sheet on the study.

But the bottom line of the report is that people should not worry that they will get cancer from using their cellphones.

Currently, 95 percent of American adults use cellphones.

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Still, "we believe that the link between radio frequency radiation and tumors in male rats is real, and the external experts agreed", Bucher said.

Future studies will focus on developing measurable physical indicators, or biomarkers, of potential effects from RFR. Rates of a particular kind of heart cancer do seem to be linked to greater cell phone usage, but the number of people with the rare disease is small. These include holding phones away from your body and using earbuds or other means to communicate without holding the phone against your body.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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