Tuesday, September 12, 2017

National Toxicology Program Finds Cell Phone Radiation Causes Cancer


Updated Sep 20, 2017


Scientists from the National Toxicology Program presented their data on the genotoxicity of cell phone radiation in rats and mice at the annual meeting of the Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society held in Raleigh, North Carolina from September 9-13, 2017.

Male and female rats and mice were exposed to 2G cell phone radiation, either CDMA or GSM, for 18 hours per day in 10 minute intervals. The rats were exposed to cell phone radiation at 1.5, 3, or 6 W/kg specific absorption rate (SAR) for 19 weeks from gestation day 5. The mice were exposed to radiation at 2.5, 5, or 10 W/kg SAR for 13 weeks from postnatal day 5.

DNA damage was assessed in three brain regions, in liver cells and in blood leukocytes using the comet assay. Chromosomal damage was assessed in peripheral blood erythrocytes using the micronucleus assay. 

DNA damage was significantly increased:

  • in the frontal cortex of male mice from either CDMA or GSM cell phone radiation exposure, 
  • in peripheral leukocytes of female mice from CDMA exposure, and
  • in the hippocampus of male rats from CDMA exposure.
There were no significant increases in micronucleated red blood cells in rats or mice. 

The authors concluded that, "exposure to RFR [radio frequency radiation] has the potential to induce measurable DNA damage under certain exposure conditions."

The NTP is scheduled to publish a complete report about its cell phone radiation studies in early 2018. The FDA called for this research in 1999.

Here is the abstract for this presentation.


Paper presented at annual meeting of Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society,
Raleigh, North Carolina, September 9-13, 2017.

Aug 31, 2017

Microwave News reported that the National Toxicology Program (NTP) will release the “complete results” of its $25 million project on cell phone cancer risks early next year. The release of these data had been expected by the end of this year.

"The complete results from all the rat and mice studies will be available for peer review and public comment by early 2018," according to a new statement on the NTP Web site.

To date, the study has reported increased risk of cancer in the brain and heart of male rats from exposure to second generation (2G) cell phone radiation and increased risk of DNA damage in mice and rats of both sexes. For more information about the results of this study see the rest of this post. 

This NTP project is our nation's only major research on the effects of cell phone radiation since the 1990's. The FDA recommended that the NTP conduct these toxicology and carcinogenicity studies in 1999. The FDA letter calling for this study can be downloaded from the NIEHS website.

The NTP is still studying the effects of 2G cellphone radiation which may soon be obsolete. 

What about 3G, 4G, and 5G? Why must we rely on research from other nations to inform us about the health effects of this environmental toxin? 

The Federal government should be held accountable for the lack of research in the U.S. on the health effects of wireless radiation since the 1990's. 

Related Posts:

Government Failure to Address Wireless Radiation Risks

April 4, 2017


According to Microwave News, the National Toxicology Program (NTP) will not publish as a stand-alone paper its findings of increased DNA breaks among rats exposed to cell phone radiation. These data which have been reported at an international scientific conference will be incorporated in a technical report to be released in December. The report will provide a "final determination" about the level of evidence that cell phone radiation causes cancer.

The NTP's statement:
”The genotoxicity paper was not accepted for stand-alone publication because the reviewers wanted additional detailed technical information on the methods used to expose the animals to radiofrequency radiation, as well as further placement of these findings in the context of the results of the two-year rodent studies. The complete results from all the rat and mice cancer studies remain in pathology review and the final determinations on the level of evidence for carcinogenic activity have not yet been made. For these reasons the decision was made to peer review and publish the genotoxicity data as part of the larger study in an NTP Technical Report.”
For a summary of the evidence about DNA damage due to cell phone radiation see the posts below for June 10, 2016 and August 23, 2016. 

September 7, 2016

 

The Green Gazette published an article today about the National Toxicology Program cell phone radiation study based upon my June 10 post which appears below.



August 23, 2016

Presentation on NTP Study to NIEHS Board of Scientific Counselors

On June 15, Dr. Michael Wyde, the director of the cell phone radiation studies conducted by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), provided an overview of the studies to the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). He summarized the research designs and the partial results for the toxicology and carcinogenicity studies. 

A video of the presentation including the presentation slides and the question and answer session is available at https://youtu.be/TCRF71eMZ1Q.

According to Dr. Wyde, the FDA recommended that the NTP conduct toxicology and carcinogenicity studies of cell phone radiation in 1999. Completion of these studies is expected by some time in 2018.

The 1999 FDA letter calling for this study can be downloaded from the NIEHS website. 


June 24, 2016

According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the newly-released study on cellphone radiation and cancer in rats conducted by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) resulted in more than 1,000 news stories. Nearly 150 reporters participated in the telephone press conference held by the NTP on May 27.

Unfortunately, much of the media coverage contained considerable bias, or "spin" intended to create doubt about the study's important findings regarding cancer risk from exposure to cellphone radiation. Notable exceptions included news stories that appeared in the Wall Street Journal and Mother Jones.


June 10, 2016

NTP Toxicology & Carcinogenicity Cell Phone Radiofrequency Radiation Studies

Summary of Presentation at BioEM 2016 Meeting (Ghent, Belgium) by Michael Wyde, PhD, Director of NTP Studies of Cell Phone Radiation, NIEHS, June 8, 2016

Dr. Wyde explained the four reasons why the National Toxicology Program (NTP) decided to release partial study results at this time: 1) given widespread cellphone use, even a small increase in disease incidence could have major public health implications; 2) there is a high level of public and media interest in the study; 3) the tumor types observed in these studies are similar to those found in human studies of cellphone use; and 4) the results support the IARC classification of radiofrequency radiation as potentially cancer-causing in humans.

Dr. Wyde discussed the 5-day pilot studies conducted on young and aged mice and rats and on pregnant rats to determine the maximum intensity of cellphone radiation that could be employed in the subsequent studies without inducing any heating effect. He also described the 28-day pre-chronic toxicology studies and the 2-year toxicology and carcinogenicity studies.

For the pre-chronic studies, NTP selected SAR exposures of 0, 3, 6, and 9 watts/kilogram (W/kg) in rats and 0, 5, 10, and 15 W/kg in mice based on pilot study results. Pregnant rats were exposed prenatally and 28 days postnatal to 900 MHz cellphone radiation (GSM or CDMA). Five-week old mice were exposed to 1900 MHz cellphone radiation for 28 days.

Dr. Wyde reported statistically significant evidence of DNA damage from nonthermal exposure to cellphone radiation in mice as well as in rats:
  • male rats: frontal cortex, hippocampus, liver, blood
  • male mice: frontal cortex
  • female rats: frontal cortex
  • female mice: liver, blood
The partial results of the carcinogenicity studies were also discussed. See my summary below.

The slides for this presentation are available at:
http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/research/areas/cellphone/slides_bioem_wyde.pdf



June 13, 2016

Do Cellphones Cause Cancer? Probably, but it's Complicated
Dr. Chris Portier, Scientific American Blog, Jun 13, 2016

Setting the Record Straight on NTP Cell Phone Cancer Study
Dr. Ron Melnick Corrects ‘Misinformation,’ Rebuffed by the New York Times

Microwave News, Jun 10, 2016


May 30, 2016

SPIN vs FACT: National Toxicology Program report on 
cancer risk from cellphone radiation

The National Toxicology Program (NTP) of the National Institutes of Health reported partial findings from their $25 million study of the cancer risk from cellphone radiofrequency radiation (RFR). Controlled studies of rats showed that RFR caused two types of tumors, glioma and schwannoma. The results “…could have broad implications for public health.”

A fact sheet on the NTP study that summarizes some biased statements, or “Spin,” about the study that tend to create doubt about data quality and implications, as well as “Facts” from decades of previous research is available at http://bit.ly/NTPspinfacts

A German translation of this fact sheet is available at diagnose:funk






May 27, 2016 (updated June 1)

On May 26, the National Toxicology Program (NTP) of the National Institutes of Health issued the first in a series of reports that contains partial findings from their long-awaited, $25 million study of the cancer risk from cell phone radiation. This report summarizes the study of long-term exposure to cell phone radiation on rats. The report on mice will be issued at a later date.

According to the report:
“Given the widespread global usage of mobile communications among users of all ages, even a very small increase in the incidence of disease resulting from exposure to RFR [radiofrequency radiation] could have broad implications for public health.”
Overall, thirty of 540 (5.5%), or one in 18 male rats exposed to cell phone radiation developed cancer In addition,16 pre-cancerous hyperplasias were diagnosed. Thus, 46 of 540, or one in 12 male rats exposed to cell phone radiation developed cancer or pre-cancerous cells as compared to none of the 90 unexposed male rats. 

The two types of cancer examined in the exposed rats were glioma and schwannoma. Both types have been found in human studies of cell phone use.

In the group exposed to the lowest intensity of cell phone radiation (1.5 watts/kilogram or W/kg), 12 of 180, or one in 15 male rats developed cancer or pre-cancerous cellsIn the highest exposure group (6 W/kg), 24 of 180, or one in 8 male rats developed cancer or pre-cancerous cells.

This latter finding has policy implications for the FCC's current cell phone regulations which allow cell phones to emit up to 1.6 W/kg at the head or near the body (partial body Specific Absorption Rate or SAR).

The NTP study is likely a "game-changer" as it proves that non-ionizing, radiofrequency radiation can cause cancer without heating tissue. 

The results of the study reinforce the need for more stringent regulation of radiofrequency radiation and better disclosure of the health risks associated with wireless technologies -- two demands made by the International EMF Scientist Appeal -- a petition signed by 220 scientists who have published research on the effects of electromagnetic radiation.

Along with other recently published studies on the biologic and health effects of cell phone radiation, the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization should now have sufficient data to reclassify radiofrequency radiation from "possibly carcingogenic" to "probably carcinogenic in humans."

The risk of cancer increased with the intensity of the cell phone radiation whereas no cancer was found in the sham controls—rats kept in the same apparatus but without any exposure to cell phone radiation.

In contrast to the male rats, the incidence of cancer in female rats among those exposed to cell phone radiation was not statistically significant. Overall, sixteen of 540 (3.0%), or one in 33 female rats exposed to cell phone radiation developed cancer or a pre-cancerous lesion as compared to none of the 90 unexposed females. The NTP provided no explanation for the sex difference. The researchers pointed out that none of the human epidemiology studies has analysed the data by sex.

Why did cellphone radiation significantly increase cancer risk in male but not female rats? Perhaps, because glioma and heart schwannoma are less common in females. According to Microwave News (6/1/2016), the NTP report shows that among controls from past toxicology studies, males were ten times more likely to develop glioma than female rats (11 of 550 vs. 1 of 540). Also, males were twice as likely to develop heart schwannoma than female rats (9 of 669 vs. 4 of 699). 

The researchers believe that the cancers found in this experimental study were caused by the exposure to cell phone radiation as none of the control animals developed cancer. The researchers controlled the temperature of the animals to prevent heating effects so the cancers were caused by a non-thermal mechanism.

One of two types of second-generation (2G) cell phone technology, GSM and CDMA, were employed in this study. The frequency of the signals was 900 MHz. The rats were exposed to cell phone radiation every 10 minutes followed by a 10-minute break for 18 hours, resulting in nine hours a day of exposure over a two-year period. Both forms of cell phone radiation were found to increase cancer risk in the male rats.

For each type of cell phone radiation, the study employed four groups of 90 rats -- a sham control group that was not exposed to radiation, and three exposed groups.  The lowest exposure group had a SAR of 1.5 W/kg which is within the FCC's legal limit for partial body SAR exposure (e.g., at the head) from cell phones. The other exposure groups had SARs of 3 and 6 W/kg. 

Glioma is a common type of brain cancer in humans. It affects about 25,000 people per year in the U.S. and is the most common cause of cancer death in adults 15-39 years of age. Several major studies have found increased risk of glioma in humans associated with long-term, heavy cell phone use. 

In humans, schwannoma is a nonmalignant tumor that grows in Schwann cells that cover a nerve which connects to the brain. Numerous studies have found an increased risk of this rare tumor in heavy cell phone users. In the rat study, malignant schwannoma was found in Schwann cells in the heart.

The FDA requested in May, 1999 that the NIEHS research the effects of cell phone radiation on DNA in animal models. FDA called this a "high priority."  Seventeen years later the NIEHS has released only partial results from a series of studies which should have taken only a few years to conduct. 

For more information about the NTP study see http://bit.ly/govtfailure.

For references to the research that found increased risk of malignant and nonmalignant tumors among long-term cell phone users see http://bit.ly/WSJsaferemr.

The NTP report is available at http://bit.ly/NTPcell1.