Medicine

Low radiation risk found in cell phones, according to new study

Low radiation risk found in cell phones, according to new study

"International and USA organizations and health experts have maintained their longstanding conclusion that the scientific evidence shows no known health risk due to the RF energy emitted by cellphones", said Justin Cole, a spokesman for the trade group. The verdict was decidedly mixed.

Overall, the new research provides the most comprehensive assessment to date of health effects in rats and mice from exposure to radiofrequency radiation - the type used in cellphones, Bucher said in a news release from the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The rodents were exposed to radiation nine hours a day for two years, much more than what people experience even with heavy cellphone use.

The new NIH study showed tumors in rats and mice in other parts of the body - the brain, prostate, liver and pancreas - but the scientists said it was unclear if these were related to the radiation.

Previous studies have shown that the link between cellphone radiation and cancer is weak at best and this study further adds to this view, according to Otis W. Brawley of The American Cancer Society. About 6 percent of the rats exposed to the highest level of radiation studied developed schwannomas in their hearts, whereas there was no evidence of schwannomas in a group of rats that were not exposed to radiation, according to John Bucher, a senior scientist at the NTP.

Although they did not test 4G or 5G signals (used for streaming video and downloading attachments on many networks) the team said that they were testing exaggerated levels of 2G and 3G radiation, well above the approved levels for mobile phones. The EWG has been criticised, however, for its unscientific stances on the potential dangers of consumer products like sunscreens.

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And two years on, the heart tumors were "the only positive finding that we've been really able to have confidence in", Bucher told reporters. The $25 million research works are now considered the most extensive. Opponents have argued that another mechanism might still account for a carcinogenic effect.

Medical advice on how to reduce exposure to cell phone radiofrequency radiation can be found at https://ehtrust.org/take-action/educate-yourself/10-things-you-can-do-to-reduce-the-cancer-risk-from-cell-phones/.

Some public health agencies, including the World Health Organisation, have nonetheless erred on the side of caution, classifying RF energy as a Class 2B environmental agent, meaning it might be "possibly carcinogenic to humans".

In December 2017, the state of California officially issued guidelines advising cellphone users to keep phones away from their bodies.

Dr Joel Moskowitz, director of the Center for Family and Community Health at the University of California, Berkeley said that 'the federal radio frequency radiation limits should be re-assessed and strengthened in light of these findings'. A draft report was released on Friday for public comment and peer review, in advance of an external expert review on March 26-28. In 2016, the NTP released partial data from the report, citing its importance to the "discussion over the mobile phone safety" issue. Among other things, reviewers will examine whether some of the results might be statistical noise.


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