Published: Sun, November 04, 2018
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

Studies conflict on connection between cellphones and cancer

Studies conflict on connection between cellphones and cancer

"The exposures used in the studies can not be compared directly to the exposure that humans experience when using a cell phone", said Bucher.

"Not carrying the phone in your trousers, or your bra or your shirt pocket, and not allowing children to use cellphones, because they're most vulnerable to this radiation; it penetrates deeper into their bodies", says Scarato.

The National Toxicology Program dialed up its concerns Thursday about a link to heart and brain cancer from a study of male rats that was made public last winter.

According to Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, the U.S. FDA's director for Devices and Radiological Health, such animal studies are important in the discussion, but it was not created to test the safety of cellphones in humans and could therefore not be used to draw conclusions for humans. These future studies are to focus on measurable physical signs, or biomarkers, of potential effects from radio-frequency radiation, including DNA damage, which can be detected much sooner than cancer. The heart tumour increase marked "clear evidence" of cancer in male rats, it announced. So, basically, while that whole "your cellphone gives you brain cancer" myth your mom's been harping on you about isn't 100 percent disproven, there really isn't a lot of evidence to support it.This specific cellphone cancer study, which was conducted by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), has been going on for decades, according to The New York Times.

"These results provide conclusive evidence that cell phone radiation can cause cancer", Moskowitz said.

This may be because the male rats exposed to radiation were less likely to develop chronic kidney problems, which are a common cause of death among older rats, the researchers said.

Interestingly, the researchers found that the male mice that were exposed to cellphone radiation actually lived longer than those that were not exposed. "That is the absolute most important scientific fact". Many epidemiologists see no overall rise in the incidence of gliomas in the human population.

Senior scientists stated, "The exposure used in the studies can not be compared directly to the exposure that humans experience when using a cell phone".

The rats were exposed to radiation at a frequency of 900 megahertz, typical of the second generation of cellphones that prevailed in the 1990s, when the study was first conceived. For comparison, fourth generation (4G) and fifth generation (5G) phones employ much higher frequencies, which are "far less successful at penetrating the bodies of humans and rats", the New York Times reports. The higher frequencies used by current cellphones can not penetrate the tissues of humans and rats as easily as the previously used frequencies.

NTP is building smaller RFR exposure chambers that will make it easier to evaluate newer telecommunications technologies in weeks or months, rather than years.

The National Toxicology Program is an inter-agency program headquartered at the National Institutes of Health.

"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", Shuren said.

Scientists who reviewed the NTP study are calling for the Federal communications Commission to warn the public, but the FDA's response suggests the findings are over-hyped as it tries to quell consumer's fears. Bucher declined repeatedly to assess the hazard. But "these are far higher cellphone radiation levels than people typically receive".

Those who study risk aren't hanging up.

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