The preliminary findings of a study conducted by the FBI have shown that the Radio Frequency (RF) the type emitted by the cell phones may play its part in causing cancer.
The report, which was released on thursday, was a gist of over two-and-a-half years of research conducted by the National Toxicology Program (NTP). The report showed that the male rats exposed to two types of RF radiation were significantly more likely than unexposed rats to develop a type of brain cancer called a glioma, and also had a higher chance of developing the rare, malignant form of tumor known as a schwannoma of the heart, Mother Jones reported.
According to Chris Portier, former associate director of the NTP and the commissioner of the study, the radiation level the rats received was “not very different” from what humans are exposed to when they use cell phones.
When the intensity of radiation was increased, the incidence of the of the disease elevated simultaneously. The highest radiation level was five to seven times as strong as what humans typically receive while using a phone.
The findings should be a wake-up call for the scientific establishment, said Portier, who is now working as a contributing scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund.
“I think this is a game changer,” he said. “We seriously have to look at this issue again in considerable detail.”
“The NTP does the best animal bioassays in the word,” Portier added. “Their reputation is stellar. So if they are telling us this was positive in this study, that’s a concern.”
According to a Science Direct report, the previous experiments done on other animals were not deductive enough as they had first exposed rodents to toxic chemicals to induce tumors, which were then shown to grow in response to radiation exposure.
But the new study did nothing in advance to induce cancer in the mice, thus increasing its credibility.
The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) had already classified cell phone use and other radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possible cancer inducing agents in 2011.
“This study in mice and rats is under review by additional experts,” the NIH said in a statement about the findings. “It is important to note that previous human, observational data collected in earlier, large-scale population-based studies have found limited evidence of an increased risk for developing cancer from cell phone use.”
Other indpendent studies also have linked cell phones’ electromagnetic fields with changes in brain activity and thus causing undesirable consequences. A study found that radiation from cell phones can lower men’s sperm mobility by 8 percent and sperm viability by 9 percent.
The Food and Drug Administration, which is charged with regulating the health aspects of consumer products, has denied the theory saying there is “no evidence linking cell phone use with the risk of brain tumors.” It does acknowledge some risk associated with carrying cell phones too close to the body, but that is generally due to the heating effect of cellphones.
It will be too soon to jump into conclusion because the findings of the report were released only partially. Female rats didn’t experience significantly higher than normal cancer rates. However, among male rats that received the highest radiation exposures, 2 percent to 3 percent contracted gliomas and 6 percent to 7 percent percent developed schwannoma tumors in their hearts, depending on the type of radiation used. None of the male rats in the control groups developed those cancers, Mother Jones also reported.
Portier details that there still isn’t enough data to consider the case closed and conclude the results.
“There are arguments in the literature now that we are at the beginning of an epidemic of cancers,” he told me. “There are arguments against that. It is not clear who is right. I have looked through it. It’s a mixed bag”, he said.
[Photo by Justin Sullivan Getty Images]