Cellphone Use Linked to Cancer in US Government Study

Whether cellphones are linked to cancer or not has been the subject of intense debate. There hasn’t been any major proof that there’s a link between the two – until now. A major study conducted by the US Government has proven there’s link between cellphones & cancer in mice.

This study was a multiyear, peer-reviewed study conducted by the National Toxicology Program. The NTP was tasked by the U.S Government in 1978 to test and identify the agents that are potentially harmful for humans. It’s a $25 million study which is one of the most comprehensive experiments about cellphones effects on human health.

The study explored the effects from the most common type of wireless technologies, GSM and CDMA. Two common frequencies, 900 megahertz for rats and 1900 megahertz for mice were employed. More than 25oo rats were exposed to the frequencies every 10 minutes followed by a 10-minute break for 18 hours. That makes nine hours a day of exposure. the results for mice are not released yet.

Earlier in the week, the National Institutes of Health said:

It is important to note that previous human trials, observational data collected in earlier, large-scale population-based studies have found limited evidence of an increased risk for developing cancer from cellphone use.

Findings of the Report

The study found “low incidences” of two types of tumors in male rats. These rats were exposed to similar radio frequencies that are emitted by cellphones. The tumors were Gliomas, which are manifested in the glial cells of the brain, and Schwannomas of the heart.

Partial findings of the study were as follows:

Given the widespread global usage of mobile communications among users of all ages, even a very small increase in the incidence of disease resulting from exposure to (radio-frequency radiation) could have broad implications for public health.

The complete study results would be released by the fall of 2017.

Ron Melnick, who ran the NTP project until retiring in 2009 is assured of the hazard posed by cellphones, “Where people were saying there’s no risk, I think this ends that kind of statement,” he said after reviewing the study’s results.

The Federal Communications Commission, which administers safety guidelines for U.S. cellphone use, has been briefed on the findings. But it is not yet clear that how the results may become a part of the government’s cellphone safety recommendations.

An FCC spokesman said:

Scientific evidence always informs FCC rules on this matter. We will continue to follow all recommendations from federal health and safety experts including whether the FCC should modify its current policies and RF exposure limits.

Safety Standards Must be Reviewed

Although the results of many experiments on animals are not necessarily the same in humans, these findings show that cellphones are indeed harmful for human health. Currently, cellphone safety standards are centered around the heating effects from radio frequency energy. This is the same type of energy that is used to cook food in a microwave.

The tests for safe use of cellphones were designed way back in the 1990s around this heating effect. The latest findings will stir the need for changes in safety standards and help in their development. Public awareness will also be improved by encouraging people to adopt precautionary measures such as only talking on a cellphone while using a headset and keeping the devices out of pockets of pants & trousers.

via WSJ