Cell phone radiation linked to tumours in rats

Faith Castro
February 5, 2018

"In our complete evaluation, we again had a lower level of certainty that small increases in the numbers of male rats with tumors in the brains were associated with exposures to cell phone radio-frequency radiation".

Two long-awaited studies of how cell phone radiation affects the health of mice and rats, released yesterday, are giving scientists plenty to think about - but the findings won't resolve the decades-old uncertainty surrounding the issue.

In the new study, rats and mice were exposed to higher levels of radiation for longer periods of time than what people experience with even the highest level of cellphone use, and their entire bodies were exposed all at once.

The lead scientist who conducted the study, John Buckner, told NBC that the results of the study are not concerning and also said he hasn't made any changes to his own cell phone usage as a result of the findings. But he also noted that the heart tumors in rats - called malignant schwannomas - are similar to acoustic neuromas, a benign tumor in people involving the nerve that connects the ear to the brain, which some studies have linked to cellphone use.

Studies in the past have had mixed results about radio frequency and cell phones' impact on certain health problems, such as an increased risk of tumors.

However, until some more conclusive studies to prove or dismiss the risks, scientists recommend cell phone users not to exaggerate with mobile phones use.

Brain cancer experts agree, saying the real danger of cell phones is from texting while driving. "The lowest energy level of the radio frequency radiation we studied was similar to the highest level now permitted for cell phone emissions".

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In 1999, the FDA nominated cell phone radiofrequency emissions for toxicology and carcinogenity testing. Their radiofrequency radiation exposure started in utero and lasted all their lives.

In addition to cancer, the study looked at other health effects, such as evidence of tissue damage from the heat of cellphones, DNA damage and changes in body weight.

The experiment involved placing rats and mice into special chambers and exposing them to different levels of radiation that mimic 2G and 3G phones, which were standard when the study was launched, for 9 hours a day.

The new National Toxicology Program study suggests otherwise, that it could be carcinogenic, he said. "Though it does allow us to explore the potential for biological effects if they're going to occur".

As scientists continue to seek answers to the many questions that remain concerning cell phone radiation safety, Phillips said, he thinks all consumers should monitor the research findings to come.

In 2010, CTIA, a trade association representing the United States wireless communications industry, released a statement about the Interphone project, an worldwide set of studies on cell phone radiation coordinated by the global Agency for Research on Cancer.

"All cell phones sold in the USA must comply with the FCC's radiofrequency exposure standards, which are created to include a substantial margin of safety for consumers".

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