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Cellphone Risk For Cancer, If Any, Is Small
06 February 2018, 02:58 | Rodolfo Quinn
High doses of cellphone radiation linked to some cancers in rats
Unusual patterns of cardiomyopathy were also noted in exposed male and female rats, however no health problems were seen in any of the exposed mice.
The NTP findings have not been peer-reviewed yet, but Dr Bucher said that they are "important because they give us an area of concern, and we now have a starting place where we might know where to look" for potential cancer risks from cell phones. Bucher emphasized that even the lowest levels used in the study were much higher than the maximum exposure even a frequent cellphone user would get.
Over the course of the last two years, researchers at the National Toxicology Program (NTP) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have been exposing rats and mice to varying levels of cell phone radio frequency radiation.
In male rats, there was a link between heart tumors and high exposure to cellphone radiation.
"This is the most authoritative study published that connects cancer with cellphone radiation - it should raise alarms for policymakers and awareness for all Americans", said Olga Naidenko, Ph.D., senior science advisor at EWG. "The reports don't go much further than what we have reported earlier".
The results, he says have not led him to change his own cellphone use or to urge his own family to do so.
"But if you're concerned about this animal data, wear an earpiece".
Researchers at the NTP exposed rats and mice to levels of RFR frequency that was equal to and higher than the highest level permitted for local tissue exposure in cell phone emissions for up to two years. But there was overall little difference in the actual health outcomes of exposed mice and rats compared to their untouched counterparts by the experiment's end - some control groups even died sooner than those exposed to the radiation. Bucher said the findings related to brain tumors rose only to the level of "equivocal evidence of carcinogenic activity". Based on limited research that shows a potentially elevated risk of schwannomas near the brain in people, the International Agency for Research on Cancer now lists radio-frequency fields as "possibly carcinogenic to humans".
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He said the findings are meant to help inform the design of future cell phone technologies.
Most scientists aren't swayed either way by these studies.
In the National Toxicology Program study, the number of animals in the radiofrequency radiation studies was several thousand.
For people who worry about the risk, health officials offer common-sense advice: Spend less time on cellphones, use a headset or speaker mode so that the phone is not pressed up against the head, and avoid trying to make calls if the signal is weak. "Even with frequent daily use by the vast majority of adults, we have not seen an increase in events like brain tumours". FDA radiation health chief Dr. Jeffrey Shuren said, "The current safety limits for cellphones are acceptable for protecting the public health". "I wouldn't change my behavior based on these studies, and I haven't", he said.
Nevertheless, the findings are potentially a concern for device makers, especially the world's three biggest smartphone sellers, Apple Inc, Korea's Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and China's Huawei Technologies.
Male rats showed a small increase in a kind of heart tumor after exposure to massive amounts of cellphone radiation, a new government study reports.
The draft reports are set to be reviewed by outside experts in March.
Samsung and Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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