Mobile phones do appear to kill male rats

Why You Shouldn't Worry About the New Study Linking Cellphones to Cancer

It adds heft to the hypothesis that there is a link between mobile phone use and cancer.

Male rats were exposed to high levels of radio frequency radiation like that used in 2G and 3G cell services - technology that hasn't been completely replaced as the industry moves to 4G and beyond, according to the study on rats and radiation.

In addition, the entire bodies of the mice were exposed to RFR during the study, as compared to the localized exposure that humans get while using their gadgets. Now, an experiment conducted by the National Toxicology Program found that there is modest evidence that radio waves from some types of cellphones are linked to an increased risk of cancer for male rats.

What does this mean for us?

The study involved radio frequencies long out of routine use.

What's more, the rodents were exposed to cellphone radiation - known as radio-frequency radiation - at greater levels, and for much longer periods, than what people experience, the researchers said. In fact, the lowest RFR exposure used in the study was the maximum level of exposure allowed for cellphone users.

NIH also noted that the studies did not evaluate the current 5G networks that are used or Wi-Fi. The studies didn't look into the kinds of RFR used for WiFi or 5G networks. "From what we now understand, it likely differs dramatically from what we studied", said Wyde.

The project took more than 10 years to complete.

But the FDA has already taken issue with the findings.

"Exposure to radiofrequency radiation has always been thought to be of no health concern as long as the energy level was low and didn't cause heating of the tissues", Bucher said.

Experts have warned the results of the studies aren't likely to reflect 5G technology as it is still emerging.

Exposure to RFR began in the womb for rats and at five to six weeks old for mice, and continued for up to two years, or most of their natural lifetime.

Bucher was clear: "We believe that the link between radiofrequency radiation and tumors in male rats is real, and the external experts agreed".

Lead toxicologist on the studies Dr Bucher 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 cell phone use, which has often relied on questionnaires".

The final reports showed clear evidence that male rats exposed to high levels of RFR developed cancerous heart tumours as well as tumours of the brain and adrenal gland.

'The totality of the available scientific evidence continues to not support adverse health effects in humans caused by exposures at or under the current radiofrequency energy exposure limits. We believe the existing safety limits for cell phones remain acceptable for protecting the public health'.

According to Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, the U.S. FDA's director for Devices and Radiological Health, such animal studies are important in the discussion, but it was not created to test the safety of cellphones in humans and could therefore not be used to draw conclusions for humans.

People can be exposed to radiofrequency radiation from cellphone towers, the report notes, but it's much more diffuse than what people get from using a cellphone.

"I have not changed the way I use a cell phone", Bucher said.

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