Cellphone-Cancer Link Revealed In Government Study - InformationWeek

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5/30/2016
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Cellphone-Cancer Link Revealed In Government Study

Research overseen by the National Toxicology Program found a slightly elevated risk of cancer in male rats exposed to CDMA and GSM signals from cellphones.

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Male rats exposed to radio-frequency radiation (RFR) emitted by mobile phones show low incidences of cancer in their hearts and brains, according to a peer-reviewed, multi-year study conducted by the US National Toxicology Program. The rats in the study were exposed to RFR during gestation and throughout their lives.

Female rats, subjected to the same conditions, did not show a statistically significant effect.

The findings are likely to revive debate about whether mobile phones raise the risk of cancer in humans.

The NTP study subjected more than 2,500 mice and rats to 900 MHz GSM- or CDMA-modulated RFR over the course their lives for almost two years. Exposure occurred in 10-minute-on, 10-minute-off cycles for 18 hours every day.

The study found a 2.2% to 3.3% increase in brain cancer (malignant gliomas) in four of six groups of 90 rats, compared to a 90-rat control group. This isn't a huge increase because, while no brain cancer showed up in the control group, other NTP studies have found a 2.0% rate of malignant glioma in rat control groups.

The study also found a 1.1% to 6.6% increase in heart tumors (Schwannomas) among six rat groups of 90, compared to a 90-rat control group, a more meaningful statistical deviation.

"These findings appear to support the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) conclusions regarding the possible carcinogenic potential of RFR," the study says.

(Image: Pixabay composite)

In 2011, IARC, part of the World Health Organization, convened a group of experts to review scientific research on the effect of cell phones on human health. The IARC Working Group concluded that mobile phones were "possibly carcinogenic to humans," while also stating the evidence linking brain cancer to mobile phone use was "limited," and the evidence linking other types of cancers to mobile phone use was "inadequate."

The Working Group defined "limited" by noting that, while the evidence suggested a causal link between certain types of brain cancer and cell phone use, "chance, bias or confounding could not be ruled out with reasonable confidence."

The NTP study noted that the results are limited to the health effects of RFR on heart and brain tissue. The NTP expects to publish further findings on RFR later this year and next, some of research covering the mice studied.

Mice and rats are widely used as models to study human health issues, but they may respond differently to drugs and medical tests. Evidence of RFR's effects on rats is suggestive but not conclusive.

Ionizing radiation, emitted by medical x-ray machines and by elements such as radon in the natural environment, is known to raise the risk of cancer in high doses. People are exposed to low doses of ionizing radiation daily.

RFR is non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation, meaning it lacks sufficient energy to remove electrons from atoms. A 2015 European Commission study found little evidence of harmful effects from RFR exposure. In 2014, researchers from the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology concluded that the weak magnetic fields from mobile phones and power lines do not harm human health.

Given the limitations of the studies to date, more research is certain to follow. But if a causal link between RFR and negative health effects is ever adequately established among scientists, is there a road back from where we are now?

Thomas Claburn has been writing about business and technology since 1996, for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. Before that, he worked in film and television, having earned a not particularly useful ... View Full Bio

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Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Author
6/4/2016 | 9:08:31 AM
Re: Frequency killer
tjgkg,

It's most likely the way you say it would be, but it doesn't make any sense to me. For instance, how is it Okay to kill a criminal sending them to the electric chair, or administering a lethal injection, and not Okay to use them for some good to society testing drugs that could serve to save good people? Testing in humans drugs that are intended to be used on humans makes more sense than using mice, or any other animal. 

Could you explain one thing is Okay and not the other? How would the law accepts one, and not the other? Think of murderers, serial killers, etc. Would society be compasionate? Would society prefer to keep seeing their relatives and friends die from illnesses that could have a cure if scientistist could properly test new drugs in real proportions on those humans whom the law and society are killing anyway? 

If you can explain the logic to me I might be able to understand. Otherwise, it doesn't make sense to me.

-Susan 
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Author
6/4/2016 | 8:10:50 AM
Re: Cell phone harard
Bill, 

Neither do I. No one in he world will give up their smartphone for anything. This kind of recycled research has been going on for years with always the same results reported in a different way. The resources could be used for something more productive. 

-Susan 
BillDChandler
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BillDChandler,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/3/2016 | 11:30:31 AM
Cell phone harard
Of course we all know the real danger of the cell pone is in driving accidents,

far exceeds this 2-3%  And ask yourself, with all the other risks in your life and

the use you get from your cell phone.  Will this make you give up your cell phone?

 

I dont hink so.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
6/3/2016 | 8:19:20 AM
Re: Frequency killer
Then we get into the harmful range, will sharing an office/home/apartment with an iPhone user cause second hand wifiradiation?  Will we need phone free buses and restaurants?  I think the real panic though won't be from carriers or hardware manufacturers, they are pretty well equipped to protect themselves.  Imagine a small business who requires their 2 person sales team to carry cellular phones.  If one of them develops any type of cancer that company is probably sunk when the lawyers get involved.
hho927
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hho927,
User Rank: Ninja
6/2/2016 | 7:58:58 PM
Re: Frequency killer
No worry! Other parts of the body is less prone to waves than brain.

If you're really that worry. Put in in your back pockets. Then you claim it gives b&tt cancer lol.

 
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
6/2/2016 | 12:51:39 PM
Re: Frequency killer
Susan: I don't think we will ever get to the point of testing on death row inmates in the US. Even with their consent i think there would be many legal hurdles to overcome let alone public pressure against it. It is hard enough to allow terminal cancer patients to try out experimental drugs. I think the mice are here to stay, mainly because they go through generations much faster than humans which allow testers to see effects far into the future than they would testing an animal with a human life span.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
6/2/2016 | 12:30:48 PM
Re: Frequency killer
Yeah, then you wind up with testicular or ovarian cancer instead of brain cancer.  :p
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
6/2/2016 | 12:06:57 PM
Re: Frequency killer
WHile the cancer risk has been tenuous over the years, you still have to take it seriously. In the old days when you had the pull out antenna, the radiation was directed away from your head. Today, that is a different story. And with cellular frequencies changing, we still do not know what to expect on a consistent basis. Using a headset with a wire is not really practical or convenient if you are on the go. Even Bluetooth devices have some questions surrounding them concerning cancer.
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
6/2/2016 | 10:35:42 AM
Re: Frequency killer
Great points! And given the changing cellular frequencies over the years, how could a lawyer pinpoint when the cancer started? With tobacco products it is pretty straightforward. With electronic devices, it will be a much harder case to prove. Was it the company's wifi or was it Verizon? Was it an iPhone with the infamous antennae or another company phone?
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
6/1/2016 | 9:53:35 AM
Re: Frequency killer
I'm sure it's more complex than the occasional cellular causing brain tumors and while you mention that devices are getting better over the years we're also spending more time on them.  Is it better to have higher doses of radiation for short and infrequent periods of time or lower doses over very long and frequent periods of time.  I don't go anywhere that I don't see someone on a cellular phone when just a decade ago it was still somewhat unusual to see someone making a call in a restaurant or walking through the grocery store. 
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