National Toxicology Program (NTP) conducted toxicology studies in rats and mice to help clarify potential hazards, including cancer risk, from exposure to Radio-frequency Radiation (RFR). The studies were very large, took more than 10 years with over 7,000 animals under subject. The $30 million NTP studies is the most comprehensive assessment, to date, of health effects in animals exposed to RFR. The final report of these findings was released on 1 Nov 2018 (NTP Final Report). It is interesting to note that NTP released the partial finding in 2016 and said " The reason that we're bringing these particular findings to the attention of the public today (27 May 2016) is the fact that they are in tumor sites, there's tumor sites and types that have been identified in human studies"
One of the NTP charges is to perform comprehensive toxicology and cancer studies on agents of public health concern. Since the inception of the NTP in 1978, they have studied thousands of agents, primarily chemical but also physical agents such as extremely low frequency electromagnetic radiation and now the radio frequency radiation used in cellular telecommunications. Cell phones are currently used by 95% of American adults. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) nominated radio frequency radiation (RFR) used by the cell phones for an NTP study because of widespread public use of cell phones and limited knowledge about potential health effects from long-term exposure. In simpler terms, The FDA asked the NTP to test the cell phone signals for toxicology and carcinogenicity testing.
At the commencement of the study, 2G signal was commonly used and 3G signal was emerging. Since then we have 4G, 4LTE and we are about to adopt the 5G signal. To date, the 2G and 3G are still used for voice calls and texting while 3G and 4G technologies were primarily developed to offer faster access to the internet. To conduct the studies, NTP used two modulations of cell phone radio frequency radiation termed GSM and CDMA. These modulations are commonly used to transmit cell phone signals in the US and Europe.
A measure of RFR is the power density, which is defined as the power per unit area and is expressed in watts per square meter (W/m2). The quantity used to describe the amount of RFR energy absorbed by the body is referred to as the specific absorption rate (SAR), which is expressed in watts per kilogram (W/kg). The signal power generated is to mimic what a standard cell phone and the NTP also have two other groups exposed to signal power double and quadruple of average cell phone.
So, what did the studies find?
- Clear evidence of tumors in the hears of male rats
- Some evidence of tumors in the brains of male rats
- Some evidence of tumors in the adrenal glands of male rats
It is noted that the male rats have bigger body mass and in general are more prone to certain tumors. For female rats, and male and female mice, it was unclear also known as equivocal, whether cancers observed in the studies were associated with exposure to RFR. (more info).
The NTP commented that all finding has been communicated to the FDA and FCC( Federal Communications Commission) who are jointly responsible for the regulations of wireless communication devices. In simpler term, NTP said we have done our job and the results were conclusive on certain category and it is now up to the FDA and FCC to something about the general public's concerns.
During a recent interview, a question was addressed to Dr. John Bucher (NTP lead scientist for the project) "Based on the renewed evidence, how do you feel about using cell phones?"
Dr Bucher commented "I've never been a heavy user of a cell phone. I have become, I guess, as we've gone through these studies, a little more aware of my use of cell phones and if I'm making a short call, I have absolutely no hesitation at all in picking up the phone and using it in a traditional manner. If I'm on a conference call for an hour or two, I tend to just think about using earbuds or some other way of increasing the distance between the cell phone and my body"
All credit to the NTP team who conducted this comprehensive studies for more than a decade and trying to raise awareness on the cell phone radiation.
Protect your loved ones, raise the awareness.