Published: Sun, November 04, 2018
Technology | By Lionel Gonzales

Study links cellphones, cancer; FDA says it’s a bad connection

Study links cellphones, cancer; FDA says it’s a bad connection

"These results provide conclusive evidence that cell phone radiation can cause cancer", Moskowitz said. Billions of people around the world now use cellphones on a near daily basis.

The link between exposure and cancer was less clear in female rats and in male and female mice, according to the November 1 report from the National Toxicology Program (NTP) at the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS).

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which oversees cellphone safety, disagreed with the risk upgrade.

"The incidence of brain tumors in human beings has been flat for the last 40 years", Brawley said. Other animal studies have found less dire effects at lower cell radiation levels, or more extreme effects in small animal studies using high radiation levels.

In the study, researchers used mice to study the potential health hazards such as cancer risks associated with long-term exposure to RFR similar to that used in 2G and 3G cellphones.

"Animal studies like this one contribute to our discussions on this topic, but we must remember the study was not created to test the safety of cell phone use in humans, so we can not draw conclusions about the risks of cell phone use from it".

The report leaves open the possibility that the kind of radiation produced by cellphones might have the potential to cause cancer, but it does not answer the question of how that might happen. For the rats, the exposures started before birth and continued until they were about 2 years old. If the results of this study still makes you feel a little concerned about putting your smartphone to your ear, you can always opt to use earbuds to make your calls instead.

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Unexpectedly, the study also found that, overall, the male rats exposed to the cellphone radiation lived longer than the rats who were not exposed to the radiation.

Some scientists have warned that 5G - which uses milimeter waves, rather than the microwaves that were the basis of previous generations - may in fact be more risky, but its far too soon to tell for sure.

A toxicological study showed clear evidence that male rats exposed to high level of radio frequency radiation (RFR) like that used in 2G and 3G cell phones developed cancerous heart tumors, though the findings could not be directly compared to human's experience. No malignant gliomas developed in the control group. It focused on 900 megahertz, a frequency typical of the second generation of cellphones. "In addition, the exposure levels and durations in our studies were greater than what people experience", said Bucher.

For the study that was just released, the National Toxicology Program (NTP) collaborated with technical experts from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (Boulder, CO) and the Foundation for Research on Information Technologies in Society (Zurich, Switzerland).

The final reports are the conclusions of NTP and a panel of external scientific experts who reviewed the studies in March after draft reports were issued in February. "From what we now understand, it likely differs dramatically from what we studied", said Wyde.

An oversight of the study was that it did not investigate RFR used in Wi-Fi, 4G or 5G, the latter of which "likely differs dramatically from what we studied", the researchers said.

Scientists have divided these rodents into several groups, each of which received a different dose of irradiation, since the maximum allowed for mobile phones and ending levels exceeding this figure by about 3-4 times.

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