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High levels of cellphone radiation linked to tumors in male rats

High levels of cellphone radiation linked to tumors in male rats

Female rats and mice exposed in the same way did not develop tumours, according to the preliminary report from the US National Toxicology Programme (NTP), a part of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

Brain cancer experts agree, saying the real danger of cell phones is texting while driving.

"Of course, these were in the nerves in the ear and next to the brain, but the tumour types were the same as we saw in the heart". And in 2015, the city council in Berkeley, Calif., approved a disclosure ordinance that directed sellers to let buyers know of the risk of carrying devices too close to their bodies.

Adding to the confusion about how to weigh these results, the same study that found heart tumors nonetheless showed that the radiated rats somehow lived longer than the control group that was not radiated. Although the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) sets the standard for radiofrequency energy exposure limits from cell phones, the FCC relies on the FDA and other health agencies for scientific expertise and input regarding those standards.

Taken together, all of this research provides a more complete picture regarding radiofrequency energy exposure that has informed the FDA's assessment of this important public health issue, and given us the confidence that the current safety limits for cell phone radiation remain acceptable for protecting the public health. One possible explanation, Dr. Bucher said, is that the radiation may ease inflammation, and lessen the severity of a chronic kidney disorder that is common in aging rats and can kill them.

John Bucher, a senior scientist involved in the 10-year study, was cautious in his interpretation of the results in a conference call with journalists Friday. Known as malignant schwannomas, they were similar to brain tumours reported in some studies of... Still, it was surprising that the rodents did experience a variety of other effects, even if they were not at high enough levels to be considered significant and possibly linked, said Leeka Kheifets, an epidemiology professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a former head of radiation studies for the World Health Organization.

Bucher said NTP scientists will continue to evaluate data from the study, including studies of the effects of cell phone radiofrequency radiation on different types of tissue and DNA. "It's important to understand that â€" as is commonly done in these types of risk assessment studies â€" the study was created to test levels of radiofrequency energy exposures considerably above the current safety limits for cell phones to help contribute to what we already understand about the effects of radiofrequency energy on animal tissue.

In addition to cancer, the study looked at other health effects, such as evidence of tissue damage from the heat of cellphones, DNA damage and changes in body weight. In particular, scientists could not find hard evidence for concern about brain tumors. But "it's not like the sky is falling, a huge effect".

"It's not anywhere near as unsafe as cigarettes, but is there a real hazard from excessive use?" But numerous studies over the years, before and after that listing, have found little evidence of a problem. 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 December, the state of California put out a guide on how people could reduce exposure to radiofrequency from cell phones if they're anxious, such as using earphones or texting instead.

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