Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Electromagnetic Radiation Safety

Recent News


Mark Hertsgaard and Mark Dowie. "How Big Wireless Made Us Think That Cell Phones Are Safe: A Special Investigation.THE NATION, March 29, 2018.
  The disinformation campaign—and massive radiation increase—behind the 5G rollout.

Microwave News. "'Clear Evidence' of Cell Phone Cancer Risk, Say Leading Pathologists." April 9, 2018.
  Why the peer review panel and NTP interpreted the same animal data differently. 



Recent Posts on EMR Safety

EMF Health Impacts and Policy Change Webinar
  Drs. Frank Barnes, De-Kun Li, and Joel Moskowitz discuss EMF research and its implications for policy change. Sponsored by Collaborative for Health & the Environment.

Recent Research on Wi-Fi Effects
 A compilation of recently-published review papers and studies on the effects of exposure to Wi-Fi radiation.

Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity
 Recent research and policy developments regarding electromagnetic hypersensitivity.

Recent Research on Wireless Radiation and Electromagnetic Fields
  A compilation of over 385 abstracts of papers published since August, 2016.

National Toxicology Program: Peer & public review of cell phone radiation study reports  Eleven experts convened by the NTP found "clear evidence" of cancer from exposure to cell phone radiation. Video of meeting now available.

  NTP should analyze overall tumor risk.

Pregnancy & Wireless Radiation Risks
  A compilation of recent studies that found harmful effects from fetal exposure to wireless radiation.

5G Moratorium Website Launched
  The official website for the 5G Appeal has been launched. More than 200 scientists and doctors have now signed the Appeal.


5G Wireless Technology: Is 5G Harmful to Our Health?
 "Both oncologic and non-cancerous chronic effects have been suggested."

Hybrid & Electric Cars: Electromagnetic Radiation Risks
  Recent studies of the electromagnetic fields emitted by these automobiles have claimed either that they pose a cancer risk for the vehicles' occupants or that they are safe.

Ramazzini Institute Cell Phone Radiation Study Replicates NTP Study
  A newly-published study by the Ramazzini Institute replicates the heart tumor results from the National Toxicology Program study of cell phone radiation on rats.

  Recent studies on the risk of leukemia among children and workers exposed to magnetic fields.

EMF Health Impacts and Policy Change Webinar


Collaborative for Health and the Environment Webinar, May 9, 2018

Video: 


Slides:

Weak Magnetic and RF Fields (0:2:45)
Dr. Frank Barnes 
Adverse Fetal & Childhood Health Effect of In-Utero Exposure to Magnetic Fields (0:21:50)
Dr. De-Kun Li 
Cell Phones and Public Health Policy (0:40:00)
Dr. Joel Moskowitz

Questions and Answers (0:57:30 - 1:10:20)

As wireless technologies, particularly cellphones, become ever more ubiquitous in our culture and communication systems, researchers have been asking the question: what, if any, impact is there from this technology on our health? Research has been conducted investigating links with cancer, reproductive health, fetal development, children's health, and electromagnetic sensitivities, among other concerns. We also encounter lower frequency electromagnetic fields produced by power lines, electrical wiring, and electrical equipment.  

In May 2015, over 200 scientists signed the International EMF Scientist Appeal calling upon the United Nations and World Health Organization to address the emerging public health crisis related to cell phones and wireless devices and infrastructure. Electromagnetic fields have been classified as a possible carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) since 2012. And in 2016, the National Toxicology Program released partial findings from a multi-year animal study revealing an increased risk for cancer associated with EMF exposure.

On May 9, 2018 we learned about the latest science on health impacts of EMF exposure and possibilities for policy change. 

Dr. Frank Barnes, Distinguished Professor in the Biomedical Group of the Department of Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering at the University of Colorado, provided some of the current state of the science on how weak electric and magnetic fields can modify biological systems and the growth of cancer cells. Dr. Barnes is co-author of the Handbook of Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Fields: Bioengineering and Biophysical Aspects of Electromagnetic Fields, soon to be released in a new edition. 

Dr. De-Kun Li, Senior Research Scientist at the Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California and reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist, presented his team’s December 2017 study, Exposure to Magnetic Field Non-Ionizing Radiation and the Risk of Miscarriage: A Prospective Cohort Study. He also discussed his perspective on overall issues in EMF research. 

Dr. Joel Moskowitz, Director of the Center for Family and Community Health at the School of Public Health at UC Berkeley, discussed policy-related developments. He shared his experience suing the California Department of Public Health in 2016 for not releasing a cell phone radiation fact sheet first developed in 2009. This lawsuit led to the issuance of the Department’s December 2017 Guidance Document, How to Reduce Exposure to Radio Frequency Energy from Cell Phones. Dr. Moskowitz concluded with thoughts on possibilities and priorities in the policy arena.  


Featured Speakers


Frank Barnes

Frank Barnes, PhD, received his B.S. from Princeton University in electrical engineering in 1954 and his M.S., engineering, and PhD degrees from Stanford University in 1955, 1956, and 1958. He joined the University of Colorado in 1959, where he was appointed a Distinguished Professor in 1997. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2001 and received the Gordon Prize 2004 for innovations in Engineering Education from the National Academy.

Dr. Barnes is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and served as Vice President of IEEE for publications, Chairman of the Electron Device Society, President of the Bioelectromagnetics Society, and U.S. Chair of Commission K-International Union of Radio Sciences (URSI). He and his students have built lasers, flash lamps, super conductors, avalanche photo diodes and other electron devices. Recently they have been studying the effects of weak magnetic fields on radical concentrations and changes in the growth rate of cancers and other cells.


De-Kun Li, MD, PhD, MPH, is a Senior Research Scientist at the Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California. Dr. Li completed his medical training and master’s degree in Public Health at Shanghai Medical University then received his PhD in epidemiology from the University of Washington. 

Dr. Li is a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist with extensive experience conducting epidemiologic studies examining in-utero exposures in relation to pregnancy outcomes and early childhood diseases, including childhood obesity and asthma, preterm delivery, low birthweight, birth defects, miscarriage and SIDS. He has more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, of which he first-authored 41 and was the senior author for another 23. He has been invited to many NIH and CDC study sections to review grant applications. Recognized for his long-standing experience in international collaborative research, Dr. Li was invited by the US National Academy of Science to evaluate Sino-US collaboration in bio-medical research. He has received more than 10 research grants from federal agencies including NIH, CDC, FDA, and AHRQ.

Dr. Li’s current research focuses on developmental origins of fetal and childhood diseases which include examination of (1) in-utero environmental exposures including endocrine disruptors (e.g., BPA) and electromagnetic fields (EMF), (2) safety and effectiveness of medication use during pregnancy, and (3) gene-environment interactions. Throughout his professional life, he has made important contributions to the understanding of (a) factors associated with reduction in SIDS risk, (b) health effects due to exposure to EMF, (c) adverse effects of in-utero exposure to caffeine, (d) impact of exposure to environmental endocrine disruptors, (e) risk and benefit of treating maternal depression during pregnancy, (f) parental genetic contribution to the risk of preterm delivery, and (g) benefits of treating herpes infection during pregnancy. Dr. Li has worked closely with the medical communities, especially OBGYN physicians, of Kaiser Permanente Northern California.

Joel Moskowitz

Joel Moskowitz, PhD, is Director of the Center for Family and Community Health at the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Moskowitz has published extensively on smoking and cancer prevention.

Since 2009 he has translated and disseminated research on the health effects of cell phone and other wireless radiation exposure. He has served as an advisor to the Berkeley cell phone “right to know” ordinance and to the International EMF Scientist Appeal which has been signed by more than 230 EMF scientists. Last year his successful lawsuit against the California Department of Public Health led to the release of cell phone safety guidance that had been suppressed since 2009.

Since 2013, his Electromagnetic Radiation Safety website has had over 1.5 million page views by visitors from more than 200 countries, which attests to the worldwide concern about the impact of wireless radiation on our health. The Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists presented him with the 2018 James Madison Freedom of Information Award



This webinar was moderated by Antoinette Stein, PhD, coordinator of the CHE EMF ScienceServ. It lasted for 70 minutes and was recorded for the call and webinar archive. 

https://www.healthandenvironment.org/webinars/96433


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

National Toxicology Program Finds Cell Phone Radiation Causes Cancer




More Information:

NTP Board of Scientific Counselors Will Discuss Cell Phone Radiation Study

At the June 20, 2018 meeting of the Board of Scientific Counselors, NIEHS will make a presentation about the NTP cell phone radiation study followed by public comments and a discussion of the study. The Counselors will also discuss future studies of radio frequency radiation. For more information see the meeting agenda


March 30, 2018 (Updated April 2)

NTP Should Analyze Overall Tumor Risk

In my written submission to NTP about the cell phone radiation studies, I recommended that NTP analyze the overall tumor risk from cell phone radiation exposure. After watching the three-day expert review of these studies, I restate this recommendation. 

While it is useful to examine what happened to the trees in the forest in this experiment (e.g., the increased risk of a specific tumor developing in male rats from GSM exposure), it is essential to examine what happened to the forest (e.g., the overall risk of a male rat developing a malignant tumor from cell phone radiation exposure). 

NTP should test the null hypothesis that lifelong exposure to non-thermal levels of cell phone radiation does not increase the incidence of cancer.

There are several strong justifications for conducting this analysis.

First, a 5-year, $5 million Air Force study found low incidences of various types of tumors in male rats exposed to microwave radiation. In that study, the exposed rats were three times more likely to get cancer than the control rats. The study employed much lower intensity microwave radiation than the NTP studies.

Second, early toxicology research on the effects of tobacco found low incidences of many types of tumors among animals exposed to tobacco smoke. Scientists dismissed this evidence as they assumed an agent could not cause cancer in different types of tissue. History later proved them wrong.

Third, numerous biologic studies have found that exposure to low-intensity radiofrequency radiation increases oxidative stress causing generation of free radicals, stress proteins, and DNA damage in many different types of cells.

Finally, my preliminary analysis of the overall tumor risk using summary data from the appendices to the NTP report, found that male rats exposed to cell phone radiation were significantly more likely to develop a tumor than control rats overall (81% vs. 62%; p < .001), and even in the lowest cell phone radiation exposure group, 1.5 watts per kilogram (82% vs. 62%; p <.001).
Male rats exposed to cell phone radiation were significantly more likely to develop cancer than control rats (38% vs. 26%; p = .021), and more likely to develop a nonmalignant tumor (70% vs. 54%; p = .003).

Male rats in the lowest cell phone radiation exposure group, 1.5 watts per kilogram, were also more likely to develop a nonmalignant tumor than control rats (74% vs. 54%; p < .001). Although cancer incidence for this low exposure group was greater than the control group, the difference was not statistically significant (34% vs. 26%; p = .163).


NTP should conduct these analyses controlling for survival differences between the exposed and control animals.


March 16, 2018 (Updated March 25)

Public Comments on the NTP 
Cell Phone Radiation Studies

To see selected public comments about the National Toxicology Program's draft technical reports on their cell phone radiation studies and for information about the peer review meeting, click on the following link:



February 23, 2018 (Updated March 5)

Ramazzini Institute Cell Tower-Cancer Study

Microwave News published a story on February 23, "'More Than a Coincidence': New Large Animal Study, Like NTP’s, Links RF to Schwannoma of the Heart" which describes a new major study that replicates the primary finding in the NTP study. 

The Ramazzini Institute in Italy will soon publish a study in the peer-reviewed journal, Environmental Research, which found that cell phone radiation caused malignant schwanomma in the hearts of male rats.

In this study of 2,448 male and female rats, the animals were exposed to 1.8 GHz GSM cell phone radiation for 19 hours per day from prenatal life until natural death. The cell phone phone radiation exposure in this study corresponds to what one could receive from a nearby cell phone tower. Hence, the exposures were much lower than in the NTP study. The SAR values in this study ranged from 0.001 W/kg to 0.1 W/kg as compared to 1.5 to 6.0 W/kg in the NTP study.

This is the fourth animal study to report increased cancer risk from exposure to low intensity microwave radiation. In addition to the NTP study (summarized below) and the U.S. Air Force studyRepacholi and colleagues (1997) found that female mice exposed to GSM-like cell phone radiation were twice as likely to develop lymphoma compared to unexposed control mice.

Nine peer-reviewed studies, including one cohort study, have found evidence in humans that long-term cell phone use is associated with increased risk of vestibular schwannomma, aka acoustic neuromaAcoustic neuroma also arises from the Schwann cells, but unlike its counterpart in the heart, it is usually a slow-growing tumor and not cancerous. 

February 20, 2018

NTP Cell Phone Radiation Cancer Study: A Public Health Perspective

The $25 million National Toxicology Program (NTP) cell phone radiation study proves that long-term exposure to low intensity, non-thermal levels of cell phone microwave radiation can cause cancer and DNA damage in an animal model. This is the second study our federal government conducted which found that low intensity microwave radiation caused cancer.

The NTP study is the missing link.

In conjunction with recently published case-control research in humans that found an association between long-term, heavy cell phone use and brain tumor risk (glioma and acoustic neuroma also known as vestibular schwannoma), and hundreds of studies that found increased oxidative stress (including stress proteins, free radicals and DNA damage) from exposure to low intensity microwave radiation, the NTP study should empower the WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer to re-classify radio frequency radiation from its current classification, “possibly carcinogenic to humans” (Group 2B), to “probably carcinogenic to humans” (Group 2A) or “carcinogenic to humans” (Group 1).

The strongest finding in the NTP reports was increased cancer incidence in Schwann cells of the hearts in male rats exposed to cell phone radiation. These rats also exhibited twice as many total schwanommas across all organs of the body compared to control rats, but this difference was not statistically significant (6% vs. 3%).

Other organs in male rats were observed to have low incidences of tumors that exceeded those found in the unexposed controls, including the brain (i.e., glioma), the adrenal, pituitary, and prostate glands, the pancreas, and the liver.

Female rats exposed to cell phone radiation also had elevated tumor incidence in the brain (i.e., glioma) and adrenal glands.

DNA damage was observed in mice and rats of both sexes exposed to cell phone radiation. (See my earlier posts for a summary of these results.)

Why is NTP downplaying the study results now?

NTP classified the increased malignant schwannoma in male rats as “some evidence of carcinogenic activity.” Other elevated incidences of tumors were considered “equivocal evidence of carcinogenic activity” because they failed to display a classic dose-response relationship. However, much of the published research on microwave radiation finds that the likelihood of a health effect does not correspond closely with the dose (or intensity) of the radiation. Rather, the frequency of the carrier wave and pulsing and modulation of the signals appear to affect the organism's cell signaling processes independent of the intensity of the microwaves.

Although this is the largest and most important animal study to examine tumor risk caused by cell phone radiation, both the NTP and the FDA are now downplaying the study results. Yet, in May, 2016, the NTP was so concerned about the increased risk of schwanomma and glioma in male rats, they released a partial report with these results because these are the same types of tumors found in several case-control studies of cell phone use among humans. What explains this turnaround?

According to the new NTP report, Schwann cells are similar to glial cells. Thus, the causes of schwannoma may be similar to glioma:

"Schwann cells are similar to glial cells in the brain in that they are specialized supportive cells whose functions include maintaining homeostasis, forming myelin, and providing support and protection for neurons of the peripheral nervous system (PNS). In the PNS, Schwann cells produce myelin and are analogous to oligodendrocytes [a type of glial cells] of the central nervous system" (page 162).

NTP should analyze the overall tumor risk.

The NTP researchers did not carefully examine the overall tumor risk, that is, the risk of an animal developing any type of tumor due to cell phone radiation exposure. There are several strong justifications for conducting this analysis.  

First, a 5-year, $5 million Air Force study found low incidences of various types of tumors in male rats exposed to microwave radiation. In that study, the exposed rats were three times more likely to get cancer than the control rats. The study employed much lower intensity microwave radiation than the NTP studies.

Second, early toxicology research on the effects of tobacco found low incidences of many types of tumors among animals exposed to tobacco smoke. Scientists dismissed this evidence as they assumed an agent could not cause cancer in different types of tissue. History later proved them wrong.

Finally, my preliminary analysis of the overall tumor risk using summary data from the appendices to the NTP report, found that male rats exposed to cell phone radiation were significantly more likely to develop cancer than control rats (38% vs. 25.5%; p = .021), and more likely to develop a nonmalignant tumor (70% vs. 54%; p = .003).

Male rats in the lowest cell phone radiation exposure group, 1.5 watts per kilogram, were also more likely to develop a nonmalignant tumor than control rats (74% vs. 54%; p < .001). Although cancer incidence for this low exposure group was greater than the control group, the difference was not statistically significant (34% vs. 25.5%; p = .163).

I questioned the omission of the overall tumor risk analysis during the recent NTP press conference.  Will NTP conduct this analysis, adjusting for survival time and litter differences, in time for the peer review of the NTP reports in late March?


Feb 7, 2018

"Same RF Cancer Data, Different Outlook" 

Microwave News (MN) published a story today that poses the question, “Why was the NTP so ambivalent about its cell phone cancer findings at the press conference last Friday when two years ago the same scientific evidence prompted a public health warning?” (“What Changed at NTP? Same RF Cancer Data, Different Outlook.” Feb 7, 2018. URL: http://microwavenews.com/news-center/what-changed). 

Besides the recent change of leadership at the National Toxicology Program (NTP), Microwave News speculates about potential political influence from the federal government including the NIEHS and NIH, the FDA, and the military, especially the Navy and Air Force. In addition, Congress and the White House may have intervened in response to lobbying by the cell phone industry.

Microwave News has been reporting on the potential health and environmental impacts of electromagnetic fields and radiation for more than 35 years and is widely recognized as an objective source of information on this topic.


Feb 2, 2018 (Updated Feb 6)

NTP Releases Draft Reports on Cell Phone Radiation 
and Conducts Press Conference

On February 2, 2018, the National Toxicology Program (NTP) conducted a press conference and released two draft technical reports on the cell phone radiation studies -- one report on rats (TR-595) and one on mice (TR-596) and two supplemental data tables. The reports and data tables are available at http://bit.ly/NTPreports

The recording and transcript of the press conference are available at http://bit.ly/NTPpress2-2-18.

For information about the upcoming review process in March see National Toxicology Program: Peer & public review of cell phone radiation study reports.


Dec 1, 2017

Microwave News reported today that the vice-chair of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), Maria Feychting, has been trying to convince the scientific community to dismiss the $25 million cell phone cancer study conducted by the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP).

According to Microwave News, Feychting claimed at scientific meetings held in Germany and Sweden last month that the pathology analyses in the NTP study were not properly blinded. This issue was originally raised by an official reviewer of the study and was laid to rest in the NTP interim report released in May, 2016.

Several researchers in the U.S. and Europe expressed their concerns to Microwave News about Feychting's misguided efforts to undermine the credibility of the NTP cell phone study.

The Microwave News article reports that Feychting's declaration of personal interests filed with ICNIRP is incomplete as she has not fully disclosed potential conflicts of interest due to her role in the Swedish COSMOS study which has industry funding.

For more information see Microwave News.


Nov 28, 2017


NIEHS updates its cell phone information page

This month the National Toxicology Program (NTP) of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) updated the cell phone information page on its website and the fact sheet which summarizes the NTP cell phone radiation study. See below for a summary of the study and its findings.

The NTP's website indicates that the NIEHS has warned its "federal regulatory partners" (i.e., the Federal Communications Commission and the Food and Drug Administration) that the NTP's research found that cell phone radiation caused cancer in male rats to enable these agencies to provide the latest guidance to the public about safe ways to use cell phones and other radiofrequency radiation-emitting devices. 

Following is some of the language which now appears on the NTP website.



The updated NTP fact sheet includes the following two graphics.





Nov 21, 2017

Two-year oncogenicity evaluations of cell phone radiofrequency radiation in Sprague-Dawley rats and B6C3F1 mice

McCormick D. Two-year oncogenicity evaluations of cell phone radiofrequency radiation in Sprague-Dawley rats and B6C3F1 mice. Toxicology Letters. 280 (Suppl. 1): S31. Oct 20, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.toxlet.2017.07.07

Epidemiology data concerning possible health effects of exposure to radiofrequency fields (RF) are conflicting. For this reason, well-designed and controlled studies in predictive laboratory animal models provide the best prospective opportunity to identify effects of RF exposure that may translate into human health hazards. 

The U.S. National Toxicology Program supported a program in our laboratory to identify and characterize effects of acute, subchronic, and chronic exposure to non-thermal levels of RF in Sprague-Dawley rats and B6C3F1 mice.

Five-day pilot studies were performed to identify the maximum Specific Absorption Ratios (SARs) to which juvenile, adult, and pregnant rodents can be exposed without increasing body temperature by >1.0 °C. 

Subsequent subchronic (ten-week) toxicity studies failed to identify any toxicologically significant effects of non-thermal RF on survival, body weight, clinical signs, hematology, or gross or microscopic pathology.

Two-year studies were performed to determine if exposure to non-thermal levels of RF increases the incidence of neoplasia in any site. Male rats exposed to RF demonstrated significantly increased incidences of glioma (brain) and schwannoma (heart); these increases were not seen in female rats or in either sex of mice.

Gliomas and schwannomas have been identified in some epidemiology studies as possible RF-induced neoplasms. Considering (a) the conflicting results of RF epidemiology studies and (b) the lack of generally accepted biophysical or molecular mechanisms through which RF could induce or promote neoplasia, data from animal bioassays will play a central role in “weight-of-the-evidence” assessments of the possible health effects of RF exposure.



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

American Cancer Society (ACS) responds to new study linking cell phone radiation to cancer
Otis W. Brawley, M.D., ACS Chief Medical Officer, ACS Pressroom, May 27, 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. An Italian translation is available at Amica Associazione.





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.