Published: Sun, February 04, 2018
Sci-tech | By Spencer Schmidt

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

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

A comprehensive study of exposure to the radiation emitted by mobile phones found an increased risk of a rare tumour in some rodents, although the scientist in charge cautioned against drawing conclusions about the impact on humans.

The 10-year, $25 million toxicological studies are the most comprehensive assessments to date of health effects and exposure to radio frequency radiation in rats and mice, according to the online notice from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, a unit of the National Institutes of Health, the United States medical research agency.

Although intriguing, the findings cannot be extrapolated to humans, NTP scientists and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said on Friday. It is said that the ionizing radiation can result in DNA damage that can cause cancer but the radiation from the cellphones does not work that way. In another study, it was found that none of the mice had developed any health problems due to the exposure to radiation. Unfortunately, not even today, nearly 20 years after, the pieces of evidence that link cell phone radiation to cancer are not conclusive and scientists can't make the connection between daily cell phones use and brain cancers cases.

Rats and mice were bombarded for nine hours a day for up to two years with a radiation level so high that humans would only experience it briefly, such as when a phone with a weak signal expends more energy searching for a stronger one, Bucher said in a news conference.

One of the studies reports that male rats exposed to very high levels of radiofrequency radiation grew tumors around their hearts.

While the Federal Communication Commission limits how much radiofrequency radiation can come out of your cellphone, the Food and Drug Administration can have a say about whether those limits are safe.

NTP, a part of the National Institutes of Health, will hold an external expert review of its findings on March 26-28.

The findings shouldn't be extrapolated to humans because the rats were exposed to higher levels of radiation than people take in, even with heavy mobile phone use, said John Bucher, a senior scientist with the National Toxicology Program. The earlier report showed a hint of increased brain tumors in male rats, but the final results did not bear that out.

In 2011, a working group of the International Agency for Research on Cancer said cellphones are possibly carcinogenic.

"The levels and duration of exposure to RFR were much greater than what people experience with even the highest level of cell phone use, and exposed the rodents' whole bodies". The study looked at only 2G and 3G frequencies, which are still commonly used for phone calls. Otis Brawley, the American Cancer Society's chief medical officer, agreed in an interview with The Associated Press. The evidence for an association between cellphones and cancer is weak, and so far, we have not seen a higher cancer risk in people.

'Even with frequent daily use by the vast majority of adults, we have not seen an increase in events like brain tumors, ' he said in a statement. "I am actually holding my cellphone up to my ear".

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