Published: Sun, February 04, 2018
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Cellphone radiation likely causes no harm to humans but there's no evidence

Cellphone radiation likely causes no harm to humans but there's no evidence

Male rats exposed to very high levels of the kind of radiation emitted by cellphones developed tumors in the tissues around their hearts, according to a draft report by USA government researchers on the potential health risks of the devices.

The rat study released Friday found a small increase in an unusual type of heart tumour in male rats, but there were no significant problems in female rats or in a separate study of mice.

The rodents in the studies were exposed to radiation nine hours a day for two years, more than people experience even with a lot of cellphone use, so the results can not be applied directly to humans, said John Bucher, a senior scientist at the National Toxicology Program, during a telephone news briefing.

"I haven't changed the way I use a cellphone", Bucher said on a call with reporters.

However, until some more conclusive studies to prove or dismiss the risks, scientists recommend cell phone users not to exaggerate with mobile phones use.

The studies involved 3,000 mice and rats which were exposed to radiation similar to that of the cell phones.

In male rats, the studies linked tumors in the heart to high exposure to radiation from the phones.

Some studies have found limited evidence of an increased risk of cancer from mobile phone use, according to the online notice from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

Unlike ionizing radiation such as that from gamma rays, radon and X-rays, which can break chemical bonds in the body and are known to cause cancer, radiofrequency devices such as cellphones and microwaves emit radiofrequency energy, a form of non-ionizing radiation.

John Bucher, a senior scientist with National Toxicology Program of United States, said the tumours observed in the studies 'are similar to tumours previously reported in some studies of frequent cellphone users. NTP will hold an external expert review of its complete findings from these rodent studies March 26-28. Females didn't. Exposed animals also showed signs of DNA damage, which experts thought wasn't possible. Overall, there was little indication of health problems in mice related to RFR.

He said the findings are meant to help inform the design of future cell phone technologies.

The reports also point out statistically significant increases in the number of rats and mice with tumors found in other organs at one or more of the exposure levels studied, including the brain, prostate gland, pituitary gland, adrenal gland, liver, and pancreas. Exposure levels ranged from 1.5 to 6 watts per kilogram (W/kg) in rats, and 2.5 to 10 W/kg in mice.

Notably, these studies were done using 2G and 3G frequencies and not the high-speed and advanced 4G and 5G networks. "Cell phone technologies are constantly changing, and these findings provide valuable information to help guide future studies of cell phone safety".

And Justin Cole, assistant vice president of public affairs for CTIA, a trade group for the wireless industry, pointed out that numerous organizations including the FDA, the American Cancer Society, and the Federal Communications Commission have long concluded that there is no proven health risk associated with radiation emitted by cell phones.

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