Study: ‘some Evidence’ Cellphones Cause Tumors
What this means for people is still up for debate.
As cellphone use climbs, questions about the safety of these common devices have lingered. About 80% of Americans over the age of 13 have a smartphone, and adults spend an average of nearly 3 hours a day using one, according to a 2017 report from comScore, a data review company.
The tumors that showed up in the rats are called schwannomas. They grew in the hearts of male rats, but not female rats, perhaps because the males larger bodies absorbed more radiation than the females, said lead researcher John Bucher, PhD. He is a senior scientist with the National Toxicology Program.
Even though the tumors were in the rats hearts, the scientists said the finding was intriguing because previous studies have noted a higher chance of having schwannomas in the inner ears of heavy cellphone users.
In humans, schwannomas are incredibly rare and usually benign.
They were rare in the rats, too. Only 6% of the animals in the most highly exposed group got them.
The studies also found other biological effects. Pups born to exposed rats weighed less than those born to unexposed animals, for example; and they saw evidence of DNA damage in some tissues in some animals, though Bucher said he and his team didnt fully understand the significance of those results.
What Are The Findings From Experiments In Laboratory Animals
Early studies involving laboratory animals showed no evidence that radiofrequency radiation increased cancer risk or enhanced the cancer-causing effects of known chemical carcinogens .
Because of inconsistent findings from epidemiologic studies in humans and the lack of clear data from previous experimental studies in animals, in 1999 the Food and Drug Administration nominated radiofrequency radiation exposure associated with cell phone exposures for study in animal models by the US National Toxicology Program . NTP is an interagency program that coordinates toxicology research and testing across the US Department of Health and Human Services and is headquartered at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of NIH.
The NTP studied radiofrequency radiation in rats and mice . This large project was conducted in highly specialized labs. The rodents experienced whole-body exposures of 3, 6, or 9 watts per kilogram of body weight for 5 or 7 days per week for 18 hours per day in cycles of 10 minutes on, 10 minutes off. A research overview of the rodent studies, with links to the peer-review summary, is available on the NTP website. The primary outcomes observed were a small number of cancers of Schwann cells;in the heart and non-cancerous changes in the same tissues for male rats, but not female rats, nor in mice overall.
Berkeley News: I Think We Should Address Upfront Is How Controversial This Research Is Some Scientists Have Said That These Findings Are Without Basis And That There Isnt Enough Evidence That Cellphone Radiation Is Harmful To Our Health How Do You Respond To That
Joel Moskowitz: Well, first of all, few scientists in this country can speak knowledgeably about the health effects of wireless technology. So, Im not surprised that people are skeptical, but that doesnt mean the findings arent valid.
A big reason there isnt more research about the health risks of radiofrequency radiation exposure is because the U.S. government stopped funding this research in the 1990s, with the exception of a $30 million rodent study published in 2018 by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences National Toxicology Program, which found clear evidence of carcinogenicity from cellphone radiation.
In 1996, the Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, adopted exposure guidelines that limited the intensity of exposure to radiofrequency radiation. These guidelines were designed to prevent significant heating of tissue from short-term exposure to radiofrequency radiation, not to protect us from the effects of long-term exposure to low levels of modulated, or pulsed, radiofrequency radiation, which is produced by cellphones, cordless phones and other wireless devices, including Wi-Fi. Yet, the preponderance of research published since 1990 finds adverse biologic and health effects from long-term exposure to radiofrequency radiation, including DNA damage.
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Where The Concern Started
In 2015, a rumor about the dangers of radiation from electronic devices gained traction when several studies suggested that long-term exposure to radiation from cell phones was possibly linked to meningioma, cognitive impairment, male infertility, and other health concerns.
These and other studies led over 200 scientists from around the world to petition the World Health Organization and United Nations, imploring them to impose stricter guidelines for electromagnetic radiation. In their appeal, the scientists pointed to the aforementioned studies, suggesting that the existing guidelines were potentially damaging to human health.
This controversy was reignited in 2019;in tandem with the growing popularity of AirPods and other Bluetooth headsets, with a flurry of media reports referring back to the scientists 2015 petition to the WHO/UN.;However, the 2015 appeal warned against all wireless devices, not specifically AirPods.
Indoors With A Base Station Mounted On The Outside Of The Building
The level of energy from RF waves inside buildings where a base station is mounted is typically much lower than the level outside, depending on the construction materials of the building. Antennas are pointed away from the side of the building, and the energy level behind the antenna is hundreds to thousands of times lower than in front. On top of this, wood or cement block reduces the exposure to energy from RF waves by a factor of about 10. Therefore, if an antenna is mounted on the side of a building, the exposure level in the room directly behind the wall is typically well below the recommended exposure limits.
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While Myung And His Colleagues Were Visiting The Center For Family And Community Health You Reviewed Case
Our 2009 review, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, found that heavy cellphone use was associated with increased brain cancer incidence, especially in studies that used higher quality methods and studies that had no telecommunications industry funding.
Last year, we updated our review, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, based on a meta-analysis of 46 case-control studies twice as many studies as we used for our 2009 review and obtained similar findings. Our main takeaway from the current review is that approximately 1,000 hours of lifetime cellphone use, or about 17 minutes per day over a 10-year period, is associated with a statistically significant 60% increase in brain cancer.
A Tale Of Two Sciences
- 4 Do Cell Phones Cause Brain Cancer?
- Columbia University Press
The possibility that using a cell phone could cause brain cancer first arose in the early 1990s and has been the subject of research since then. Radiofrequency waves used in cellular communications are far too weak to induce cancer by any known mechanism, and most scientific and regulatory bodies have found the evidence for health effects from use of mobile phones to be unconvincing. Nevertheless, positive results, largely from a single group of researchers, and an ambiguous assessment from single agency have kept the controversy alive. New studies are in progress.
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Use Headphones Or A Headset
For most calls, I have my AirPods in. The audio is crystal clear, usually better than without headphones. Wireless earbuds connect to your phone via Bluetooth, which research shows may pose less risk than cellphone emissions. Wired headphones work, too, though they arent nearly as convenient.
How Do Cell Phones Work
Cell phones send signals to nearby cell towers using RF waves. This is a form of energy in the electromagnetic spectrum that falls between FM radio waves and microwaves. Like FM radio waves, microwaves, visible light, and heat, RF waves are a form of non-ionizing radiation. They dont have enough energy to cause cancer by directly damaging the DNA inside cells. RF waves are different from stronger types of radiation such as x-rays, gamma rays, and ultraviolet rays. Ionizing radiation can break the chemical bonds in DNA, which might lead to cancer.
The electromagnetic spectrum illustration shows the possible frequencies of electromagnetic energy, ranging from extremely low frequencies to exposures from extremely high frequencies ,;and includes both non-ionizing and ionizing radiation.
Image credit: National Cancer Institute
At very high levels, RF waves can heat up body tissues. But the levels of energy given off by cell phones are much lower, and are not enough to raise temperatures in the body.
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Cell Phones Are Safe:
- Cell phones use a very, very low level of radio frequency energy – too low to cause damage.
- The type of energy emitted is non-ionizing – meaning it doesn’t cause damage to chemical bonds or dna.
- Hundreds of millions of people have been using cell phones and cordless phones for years. If there were a problem, we would have seen it by now.
What Expert Agencies Say
The American Cancer Society does not have any official position or statement on whether or not radiofrequency radiation from cell phones, cell phone towers, or other sources is a cause of cancer. ACS generally looks to other expert organizations to determine if something causes cancer , including:
- The International Agency for Research on Cancer , which is part of the World Health Organization
- The US National Toxicology Program , which is formed from parts of several different government agencies, including the National Institutes of Health , the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , and the Food and Drug Administration
Other major organizations might also comment on the ability of certain exposures to cause cancer.
What they say about cell phone towers
So far, neither IARC nor the NTP have classified the cancer-causing potential of RF waves from cell phone towers specifically. However, some other agencies have commented on cell tower safety.
The US Federal Communications Commission has said this about cell phone towers near homes or schools:
What they say about RF radiation in general
Based on a review of studies published up until 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified RF radiation as possibly carcinogenic to humans, based on limited evidence of a possible increase in risk for brain tumors among cell phone users, and inadequate evidence for other types of cancer. ;
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Fcc And Fda Background Information
FCC Policy on Human Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields
The FCC is required by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 to evaluate the effect of emissions from FCC-regulated transmitters on the quality of the human environment. At the present time there is no federally-mandated radio frequency exposure standard. However, several non-government organizations, such as the American National Standards Institute , the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. , and the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements have issued recommendations for human exposure to RF electromagnetic fields. The potential hazards associated with RF electromagnetic fields are discussed in OET Bulletin No. 56, “Questions and Answers About the Biological Effects and Potential Hazards of Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields.”
|OET RF Safety Bulletins, Fact Sheets, Guides and Reports|
OET Bulletin No. 56: Questions and Answers About Biological Effects Potential Hazards of Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields
OET Bulletin No. 65:Evaluating Compliance With FCC Guidelines for Human Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields
Information on Human Exposure to Radiofrequency Fields from Cellular and PCS Radio TransmittersThis page explains technical information on cellular and PCS base stations, mobile, and portable telephones.
Do Cell Phones Cause Cancer
On May 31st the World Health Organizations International Agency for Research on Cancer classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields such as those emitted by cell phones as possibly carcinogenic to humans.
This change was made based on the reported increased risk of a rare, malignant brain tumour associated with heavy long-term cell phone use.
While its classification by WHO/IARC as a ‘possible’ carcinogen means that the evidence is inadequate to classify mobile phone use as a ‘known’ or even a ‘probable’ carcinogen, the ;classification has understandably reignited concerns over the safety of cell phones and has resulted in calls for changes in regulations, the lowering of exposure levels, and the restriction of use by children.
Given that cell phones, wi-fi and smart meters all transmit information with radiofrequency waves, some members of the public have also argued that these devices, as well as baby monitors, and FM radio, which also use radiofrequency transmission, be curtailed or banned.
Dr. Perry Kendall, British Columbias provincial health officer, recognises these concerns. Dr. Kendall and his colleagues across the country regularly review information and new science as it becomes available, and have established ongoing review mechanisms to ensure that new knowledge is assessed quickly.
- Spend less time on the phone
- Use the speaker option
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Why Studies Can’t Always Give Answers
Research canât tell us everything we need to know. Many studies have built-in weaknesses that can affect how accurate their findings are. They include:
- The results of studies done in animals or cells may not apply to people.
- People may not have been regularly using cell phones long enough to tell if they’re linked to cancer.
- Other habits besides cell phone use may affect cancer rates, but these habits werenât studied.
- People donât always remember how much or how long theyâve done something, like use a cell phone. This can make a study’s results less accurate.
- Technology in cell phones keeps changing over time, which can affect study results.
- Most studies are done in adults, which means their results may not apply to children.
Cell Phones And Cancer: New Uc Berkeley Study Suggests Cell Phones Sharply Increase Tumor Risk
File of cell phone user. New UC Berkeley research draws link between cell phone use and increase risk of tumors. .
BERKELEY, Calif. – New UC Berkeley research draws a strong link between cell phone radiation and tumors, particularly in the brain.
Researchers took a comprehensive look at statistical findings from 46 different studies around the globe and found that the use of a cell phone for more than 1,000 hours, or about 17 minutes a day over a ten year period, increased the risk of tumors by 60 percent.
Researchers also pointed to findings that showed cell phone use for 10 or more years doubled the risk of brain tumors.;;
Joel Moskowitz, director of the Center for Family and Community Health with theUC Berkeley School of Public Health conducted the research in partnership with Koreas National Cancer Center, and Seoul National University. Their analysis took a comprehensive look at statistical findings from case control studies from 16 countries including the U.S., Sweden, United Kingdom, Japan, Korea, and New Zealand.;;
“Cell phone use highlights a host of public health issues and it has received little attention in the scientific community, unfortunately,” said Moskowitz.;
Cell phone use has increasingly become part of peoples daily lives, especially with the emergence of smartphones. Recent figures from the Pew Research Center showed that 97% of Americans now own a cell phone of some kind.
A view of cellular communication towers in Emeryville, California.
Do Cell Phones Cause Brain Tumors
What does the worlds leading authority on carcinogens have to say about mobile phones?
Do cell phones cause cancer? Thats a question billions of people would like to have answered and one I address in my video Cell Phone Brain Tumor Risk?. Thats why we have the World Health Organizations International Agency for Research on Cancer , the recognized authority on determining what is and is not carcinogenic. There are five categories: Group 1 carcinogens are agents that we know with the highest level of certainty do cause cancer in human beings, Group 2A probably cause cancer, Group 2B possibly cause cancer, were not sure about agents categorized as Group 3, and Group 4 agents probably dont cause cancer.
In May 2011, 30 scientists from 14 countries met at the IARC to assess the carcinogenicity of the radiation emitted from cell phones and concluded that, given the limited amount of available evidence, cell phones are possibly carcinogenic to humans . So theyre not classified as a Group 1 carcinogen thats known definitively to be cancer-causing, like plutonium, or processed meat, or as probable carcinogen, like DDT, Monsantos Roundup pesticide, or some regular meat, but they are classified as a possible carcinogen, ranked similarly as preserved vegetables like kimchi.;
For more on cell phones and Wi-Fi, see:
Are Phones On 5g Networks Any Different
Fifth generation cellular networks are now being rolled out in many parts of the United States and in other countries. 5G networks are capable of transmitting much larger amounts of data over shorter periods of time than previous generations .
5G networks operate on some higher frequency RF wavelengths than older generation networks . But the newer 5G signals still use RF waves, so they are still forms of non-ionizing radiation, which is not thought to have the ability to directly damage DNA.
The studies that have been done so far to look at possible links between cell phone use and cancer have focused on older generation signals. At this time, there has been very little research showing that the RF waves used in 5G networks are any more of a concern than the other RF wavelengths used in cellular communication. For more on 5G networks, see Cell Phone Towers.
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