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EMF Studies

06 June 2016

Link Between Cell Phone Use and Cancer

(Choice of photo by Editor of "Towards Better Health")
Nigeria, along with many other countries, has reported on the NTP study, but in French-speaking Switzerland?

Link between cell-phone use and cancer
by Prof. Foluso Ladeinde, dailytrust.com (Nigeria), 6 June 2016

This one is scary stuff! Barely two weeks ago, preliminary results of an elaborate, over ten-year, $25 million, study funded by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) of the U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH), were released. The study tested the possibility of links between cancer and exposure to the type of radiation emitted from cell phones and wireless devices. The study used an unprecedented number of rodents that were subjected to a lifetime of electromagnetic radiation starting in utero. Radiation intensities that include the plausible amounts emitted by wireless devices were used in the study. The findings seem to present some of the strongest evidence to date that links the formation of rare cancers in the brains and hearts of rats to the kind of radio waves emitted by cell phones and wireless devices.

The fact that cell phones are potentially very harmful to living things - plants, animals, and humans, shouldn’t surprise anyone. Why? Because the waves that transmit the cell phone signals from the mast to your phone and then to your body are the same ones that generate the heat that is used for cooking your food in the microwave, albeit at a much lower dose. At issue obviously is the threshold - the amount of radiation that your cell phone gives out, vis-à-vis, the amount required to heat up and damage your body cells. Another bone of contention is whether cancer has a thermal (heat) cause, or whether the heat from the radio waves can damage the DNA of your body cells in a way that causes cancer. We hope not, but the recent findings seem to suggest that there is stuff other than purely heating your body up which radio waves from wireless devices could do to harm you. Stuff that could potentially give you cancer, the way it was observed to give rats in the NTP study.

Obviously, the NTP study would not be the first to investigate a link between radio waves and cancer. However, these earlier studies never concluded on any association (between radio waves and cancer.) “But none of those studies followed as many animals, for as long or with the same larger intensity exposures,” says Ron Melnick, a scientist who helped design the study and is now retired from the NTP.

David Carpenter, a public health clinician and the director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the State University of New York, Albany, feels that we should be very concerned about the findings, even though the results may not yet be conclusive and there seems to be a number of questions that couldn’t be fully answered. “I was surprised because I had thought it was a waste of money to continue to do animal research in this area. There had been so many studies before that had pretty consistently not shown elevations in cancer. In retrospect the reason for that is that nobody maintained a sufficient number of animals for a sufficient period of time to get results like this,” Carpenter says.

Besides using the relevant amount of radiation in the studies, according to Dina Maron of The Scientific American magazine in her 27 May 2016 article on the topic, “The experiments also included both types of modulations emitted from today’s cell phones: Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) and Global System for Mobile (GSM). Overall, there was no statistically significant difference between the numbers of tumors that developed in the animals exposed to CDMA versus GSM modulations.”

As expected, the cell phone industry, with its loyalists, is debating the findings. CTIA - The Wireless Association, originally known as the Cellular Telephone Industries Association (CTIA), issued a statement to the effect that they were still reviewing the study’s findings. “Numerous international and U.S. organizations including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, World Health Organization and American Cancer Society have determined that the already existing body of peer-reviewed and published studies shows that there are no established health effects from radio frequency (RF) signals used in cellphones,” the CTIA statement said.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission, which sets the standards for radio frequency emission by devices, is “studying this important issue,” and tells Scientific American that “scientific evidence always informs FCC rules on this matter.” “We will continue to follow all recommendations from federal health and safety experts including whether the FCC should modify its current policies and RF exposure limits.”

Should you be concerned? Of course, if you use a cellphone, even if these particular studies eventually fail to establish health danger. It’s common sense: Use landline phones if you have one. And if you don’t, heed the advice of Carpenter: “Use the speakerphone, keeping the phone on the desk instead of on the body, and using a wired headset whenever possible would help limit RF exposure.”


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