Cellphone radiation poses no real harm to humans, new research says

Simon Moss
February 6, 2018

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.

Researchers also observed mice in radiation chambers seemed to have a higher risk of DNA damage or heart problems.

"We know that this clearly has been linked to MVA's [motor vehicle accidents] and accidents and we know that that's a significant source of morbidity", UH Cleveland Medical Center Dr. Andrew Sloan said.

The study by the National Toxicology Program is believed to be the most comprehensive assessment of the health effects of such radiation on rats and mice and involved 3,000 test animals.

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.

Six percent of male rats exposed to the same kind of radiation our cell phones emit - though in much larger quantities - developed a type of cancer called a schwannoma in their hearts.

Animals were exposed to radiofrequency radiation associated with the two most common types of cell phone networks: global system mobile communications (GSM) and code division multiple access (CDMA). The levels ranged from a low of 1.5 watts per kilogram to a high of 10 watts per kilogram, and exposures were limited to the 2G and 3G frequencies, which are still widely used for voice calls and texting.

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The voluminous but sometimes puzzling results also aren't likely to prompt US agencies or other bodies to immediately change how they regulate the ubiquitous devices or view their health risks.

In the NTP study, rats and mice were exposed to higher levels of radiation for longer periods of time than what people experience with even the highest level of cellphone use, and their entire bodies were exposed all at once, according to the draft report. We have reviewed the 2016 interim NTP results and are now reviewing the full set of data from the NTP draft final report.

"We don't have any idea really", Bucher said. The Environmental Working Group's Olga Naidenko, a senior science adviser, for instance, in a news release said the study "should raise alarms for policymakers and awareness for all Americans".

"Fortunately, since then, there have been hundreds of studies from which to draw a wealth of information about these technologies which have come to play an important role in our everyday lives".

Some health and environmental groups immediately seized on the findings as more evidence of the dangers of cellphones.

"Even with frequent daily use by the vast majority of adults, we have not seen an increase in events like brain tumors", he said. The new studies, when combined with previous research, have "given us the confidence that the current safety limits for cellphone radiation remain acceptable for protecting the public health". The lowest level of radiation they were exposed to was about the maximum level cellphones are permitted to emit, and the rodents were exposed to nine hours of radiofrequency radiation every day for two years, which Bucher made clear was much more than a regular cellphone user is going to be exposed to.

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