NTP: Cell Phone Radiofrequency Energy Exposure Report Released
06 February, 2018, 15:00 | Author: Clint Gray
The major finding from these studies was that male mice exposed to 900MHz had a higher risk of a malignant form of cancer near the heart. Further, although these were large and well-conducted animal studies, the relative rarity of the tumors showing an increase in incidence means that it may be hard to demonstrate significant increases in incidence which may be seen in the very much larger numbers of humans exposed to radiofrequency radiation.
Following the release of the NTP study, the FDA Director of the Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Jeffrey Shuren, issued a statement expressing confidence that the current regulations around cellphone radiation are sufficient to protect the health of their users.
A USA government study unveiled this past week revealed that male rats showed increased signs of a particular kind of heart tumour after being exposed to exponential amounts of cellphone radiation.
In response to the NTP studies being released Friday, the FDA reaffirmed that stance while stating that it was eager to participate in the peer review process of the reports, which will begin later this March.
The study found an increased risk of cardiac schwannoma, a tumor type that typically originates from cells found in neurons.
Perhaps tellingly, in response to a question asked both in 2016 and this weekend, NTP scientist Bucher said the available data hasn't prompted him to change anything about the way he now uses mobile phones.
Bucher said the effect likely only showed up in the male rats because they were larger, and likely absorbed more radiation than the female rats or mice. 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". In fact, the rats exposed to cell phone radiation actually appeared to live longer than the ones that weren't, a finding that the FDA's Shuren says the agency is assessing. The only frequencies used were 2G or 3G.
"The intriguing part of this is the kind of tumours we saw were similar to tumours noted for quite some time in some epidemiological studies in heavy duty cellphone users", John Bucher, a senior scientist with NTP, said in a telephone interview. But they said the study was not created to tease out whether this was a direct effect on the babies or if it impacted how the mothers cared for their young. On the other hand, he added, the babies did grow to normal size.
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EWG has been at the forefront of public interest organizations raising concerns about cellphone use and cancer.
The new reports were based on data from two years of study pursued in a quest to determine whether cellphones - our main source of exposure to radiofrequency radiation - are emitting waves that increase our risk of cancer. "Even with frequent daily use by the vast majority of adults, we have not seen an increase in events like brain tumours".
The Food and Drug Administration, meanwhile, has been aggressively dismissive of any link, saying in no uncertain terms that the "weight of scientific evidence does not show an association between exposure to radio frequency from mobile phones and adverse health outcomes". "We believe the current safety limits for cellphones are acceptable for protecting the public health".
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