Study confirms cell phone radiation linked to cancer risks in male rats

The National Toxicology Program study examined the effects of a radio frequency associated with 1990s-era cellphone technology which fell out of routine use years ago

Researchers claimed to have found "clear evidence" that shows radiation from cell phones does cause cancer, the Daily Mail reported.

According to a 10-year study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), it causes various types of cancers from the heart to the brain.

"If scientists can better understand biological changes in animals, they will know more about what to look for in humans", the NTP said in its fact sheet on the study.

It is considered the most comprehensive assessment to date of the effects of RFR from modulations used in 2G and 3G cell phones.

The studies didn't investigate radiation used for Wi-Fi or the 5G networks that phone companies are racing to develop.

Indeed, the only clear link between cellphone radiation and cancer was found among male rats (not female rats or male or female mice), and the researchers stressed that the findings do not apply to humans.

"The exposures used in the studies can not be compared directly to the exposure that humans experience when using a cellphone", John Bucher, a senior scientist with the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP) and co-author of the study, said in a statement.

But the results of the study do need proper context. Ming Yeung/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty ImagesCurrent 4G and 5G cell phones do emit much higher frequencies than second generation cell phones, says The New York Times, but scientists say those radio waves aren't as capable of penetrating the human body as older models.

"We studied the effects of almost lifetime exposures to two different types, or modulations, of RFR (GSM and CDMA) used in cellular telephone networks in the United States in male and female rats and mice to identify potential toxicity or cancer-related hazards".

The study saw its rats subjected to the lowest exposure level that is equal to the maximum local tissue exposure now allowed for cell phone users.

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"I have become, based on these studies, a little more aware of my use of cellphones and if I make a short call I have absolutely no hesitation at all in picking up the phone and using it in a traditional manner", he said.

"A major strength of our studies is that we were able to control exactly how much radio frequency radiation the animals received - something that's not possible when studying human cellphone use, which has often relied on questionnaires", said Michael Wyde, lead toxicologist on the study.

Interestingly, the researchers found that the male mice that were exposed to cellphone radiation actually lived longer than those that were not exposed.

The radiation exposure was intermittent, 10 minutes on and 10 minutes off, totaling about nine hours each day. The radiation began in the womb or early in life and lasted for up to two years, which is most of the animals' lifetime. RFR levels ranged from 1.5-6 watts per kilogram in rats, and 2.5-10 watts per kilogram in mice.

"From what we now understand, it likely differs dramatically from what we studied".

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration nominated cell phone RFR for study by NTP because of widespread public use of cell phones and limited knowledge about potential health effects from long-term exposure.

The toxicology agency is building smaller exposure chambers that will let it evaluate newer technologies in weeks or months, instead of years.

Now, the organization is back with more worrying news.

The Associated Press Health & Science Department receivessupport from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education.

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