Friday, October 26, 2018

Trends in Brain Tumor Incidence Outside the U.S.

England: Brain Cancer Incidence Increased in Temporal and Frontal Lobes of Brain since 1995

A new study of cancer data in England essentially replicated the results of the Philips et al study (see below). The study found that the two age groups most vulnerable to carcinogenic effects from cell phone use -- young and elderly adults -- showed increased incidence over time in brain cancer in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain -- the two lobes that receive the greatest dose of microwave radiation when cell phones are used near the head during phone calls.

However, Frank de Vocht, the author of this paper, rejected the explanation that cell phone use caused the increased cancer risk. He attributed the increased incidence to better diagnosis of brain tumors, especially in the elderly. Of course, this does not explain why the increase was only observed in the frontal and temporal lobes. He did not rule out the possibility that cell phone radiation may be a contributing factor to the observed increase.

Microwave News reported on this study and published the following graph obtained from Alasdair Philips (Microwave News, "Location, Location, Location: Aggressive Brain Tumors Tell a Story; GBM Rise Only in Frontal and Temporal Lobes, Oct 26, 2018.)




de Vocht F. Analyses of temporal and spatial patterns of Glioblastoma Multiforme and other brain cancers subtypes in relation to mobile phones using synthetic counterfactuals. Environmental Research. Available online 17 October 2018. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2018.10.011.

Highlights

• English 1985–2005 brain cancer subtype rates were compared to counterfactual trends
• Excess GBM increases were found in the frontal and temporal lobes, and cerebellum
• Mobile phone use was unlikely to have been an important putative factor
• No evidence of an effect of mobile phone use on acoustic neuroma and meningioma

Abstract

This study assesses whether temporal trends in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in different brain regions, and of different malignant and benign (including acoustic neuroma and meningioma) subtypes in the temporal lobe, could be associated with mobile phone use.

Annual 1985–2005 incidence of brain cancer subtypes for England were linked to population-level covariates. Bayesian structural timeseries were used to create 2006–2014 counterfactual trends, and differences with measured newly diagnosed cases were interpreted as causal effects.

Increases in excess of the counterfactuals for GBM were found in the temporal (+38% [95% Credible Interval -7%,78%]) and frontal (+36% [-8%,77%]) lobes, which were in agreement with hypothesised temporal and spatial mechanisms of mobile phone usage, and cerebellum (+59% [-0%,120%]). However, effects were primarily present in older age groups, with largest effects in 75+ and 85+ groups, indicating mobile phone use is unlikely to have been an important putative factor. There was no evidence of an effect of mobile phone use on incidence of acoustic neuroma and meningioma.

Although 1985–2014 trends in GBM in the temporal and frontal lobes, and probably cerebellum, seem consistent with mobile phone use as an important putative factor, age-group specific analyses indicate that it is unlikely that this correlation is causal.

Excerpts

Assessment of specific cancer subtypes in the temporal lobe indicated that the excess incidence was mainly found for GBM, with similar trends observed in the frontal lobe and cerebellum....  The increased rates of specific brain cancer subtypes in excess of the counterfactuals correspond to the spatial and temporal patterns that would be expected if exposure to RF from mobile phones were an important putative factor (Cardis et al., 2008, Morgan et al., 2016) ... However, age group-specific analyses indicate that the excess relative impacts increased with age over 65 years and were primarily found in the very old (75/85+ years of age) for whom it is unlikely that mobile phone use had been an important causal factor. In addition, excess numbers of newly diagnosed cases were also observed in the young (<24 years of age) for whom mobile phone use is also an unlikely causal factor....

The assumption that a 10-year lag was the most plausible period between first exposure and when increased risk could be observed in registry data was based on the previous analyses (De Vocht (2016)). Although sensitivity analysis using a 15-year lag showed no evidence of excesses relative to counterfactuals, this may still have been too short....
This study, in agreement with other data from the UK and elsewhere, shows that the incidence of glioblastoma multiforme (astrocytoma grade IV) has increased significantly since the 1980s, especially in the frontal and temporal lobes and cerebellum. However, it further provides evidence that the trend of increasing numbers of newly diagnosed cases of glioblastoma multiforme in the temporal lobe (but likely in the frontal lobe and cerebellum as well) since the mid-1980s, although seemingly consistent with the hypothesis of exposure to radiofrequency radiation from mobile phones being an important putative factor, should to a large extent (if not exclusively) be attributed to another factor or factors; of which improvements in diagnostic techniques, especially in the elderly, seems the most plausible. Although these analyses indicate that it is unlikely that exposure to RF from mobile phones is an important putative factor, they also cannot exclude it as a contributing factor completely. It is therefore important to keep monitoring incidence trend data.

Competing financial interests declaration: The author has previously done consulting for EPRI [Electric Power Research Institute], not related to this work. 

Financial support: No external funding was obtained for this study.



Mar 25, 2018

England: Rates of Aggressive Brain Cancer Increased from 1995 to 2014

A newly-published study of brain tumor incidence trends in England from 1995 to 2014 found that the trends over time varied by type of cancer, especially in the frontal and temporal lobes.

The study found “a sustained and highly statistically significant” increase in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most common brain cancer, across all ages. The rate of GBM more than doubled from 2.4 to 5.0 per 100,000 people. However, this increase was mostly hidden because the overall malignant brain tumor trend was relatively flat due to a reduced incidence of lower grade brain tumors.

In England in 1995, when the tumor site was specified at the time of diagnosis, the frontal or temporal lobes of the brain accounted for 41% of malignant brain tumors. By 2015, these two sites accounted for 60% of the tumors.

One cannot know from tumor registry data alone what caused these differential trends in brain cancer. Based upon epidemiologic research, the most compelling explanation for the increased incidence in these deadly brain tumors, especially in the frontal and temporal lobes, may be exposure to microwave radiation due to widespread adoption of cell phones. However, the increased use of CT imaging scans is an alternative, but less compelling, explanation because far fewer people would have been exposed to this form of ionizing radiation.

In the U.S., Zada and his colleagues (2012) obtained similar results in an analysis of national tumor registry data from 1992 to 2006.

Those who cite statistics which appear to show a flat-line trend in overall brain tumor incidence and argue that cell phone use doesn’t cause brain cancer need to examine data on the location and type of brain tumors over time.

Also see:


Microwave News. “Aggressive Brain Tumors on the Rise in England.” March 25, 2018. http://microwavenews.com/news-center/gbms-rising-uk


Source: Alasdair Philips via Microwave News.

--

Brain tumours: rise in Glioblastoma Multiforme incidence in England 1995–2015 suggests an adverse environmental or lifestyle factor

Alasdair Philips, Denis L. Henshaw, Graham Lamburn, and Michael O'Carroll. Brain tumours: rise in Glioblastoma Multiforme incidence in England 1995–2015 suggests an adverse environmental or lifestyle factor. Journal of Environmental and Public HealthArticle ID 7910754, https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/7910754. 2018.

Highlights

• A clear description of the changing pattern in incidence of brain tumour types
• The study used extensive data from an official and recognised quality source
• The study included histological and morphological information
• The study identified a significant and concerning incidence time trend
• Some evidence is provided to help guide future research into causal mechanisms

Abstract

Objective To investigate detailed trends in malignant brain tumour incidence over a recent time period.

Methods UK Office of National Statistics (ONS) data covering 81,135 ICD10 C71 brain tumours diagnosed in England (1995–2015) were used to calculate incidence rates (ASR) per 100k person–years, age–standardised to the European Standard Population (ESP–2013).

Results We report a sustained and highly statistically significant ASR rise in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) across all ages. The ASR for GBM more than doubled from 2.4 to 5.0, with annual case numbers rising from 983 to 2531. Overall, this rise is mostly hidden in the overall data by a reduced incidence of lower grade tumours.

Conclusions The rise is of importance for clinical resources and brain tumour aetiology. The rise cannot be fully accounted for by promotion of lower–grade tumours, random chance or improvement in diagnostic techniques as it affects specific areas of the brain and only one type of brain tumour. Despite the large variation in case numbers by age, the percentage rise is similar across the age groups which suggests widespread environmental or lifestyle factors may be responsible.


 Conclusions

1/. We show a linear, large and highly statistically significant increase in primary GBM tumours over 21 years from 1995–2015, especially in frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. This has aetiological and resource implications.
2/. Although most of the cases are in the group over 54 years of age, the age–standardised AAPC rise is strongly statistically significant in all our three main analysis age groups.

3/. The rise in age–standardised incidence cannot be fully accounted for by improved diagnosis as it affects specific areas of the brain and just one type of brain tumour which is generally fatal. We suggest that widespread environmental or lifestyle factors may be responsible.

4/. Our results highlight an urgent need for funding more research into the initiation and promotion of GBM tumours. This should include the use of CT imaging for diagnosis and also modern lifestyle factors that may affect tumour metabolism.








Thursday, October 25, 2018

iPhone XS and XR: Specific Absorption Rates (SAR) or RF Exposure

What are the SAR values for iPhone’s new smart phones? 
How should consumers use this information?

about cell phone use.

Also see: "Do iPhones emit more radiation than 
Samsung Galaxy phones?"


To reduce your exposure to microwave radiation: 
  • When communication is unnecessary, use Airplane mode.
  • When using cellular, turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
  • When using Wi-Fi, turn off cellular and Bluetooth.
  • When phone is powered on, never keep phone next to your body, especially during a phone call.
  • When communicating, use phone in speaker mode or a wired earpiece.
For information about wireless head sets, see my AirPods post.


Sep 13, 2018 (Updated Oct 25, 2018)

According to test reports filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) for the iPhone XS Models A1920, A2099 and A2100 (FCC #BCG-E3218A) for cellular transmission is 0.90 watts per kilogram (w/kg) at the head, and 0.99 w/kg when worn on the body. The hotspot/Airplay SAR is 0.99 w/kg. The SAR for simultaneous transmission (cellular plus Wi-Fi) is 1.35 w/kg at the head, 1.53 w/kg when worn on the body, and 1.53 w/kg when used as a hotspot. (1a)

The SAR for the iPhone XS Max Models A1921, A2103 and A2104 (BCG-E3219A) for cellular transmission is 1.00 watts per kilogram (w/kg) at the head, and 1.00 w/kg when worn on the body. The hotspot/Airplay SAR is 1.00 w/kg. The SAR for simultaneous transmission (cellular plus Wi-Fi) is 1.39 w/kg at the head, 1.52 w/kg when worn on the body, and 1.52 w/kg when used as a hotspot. (1b)

The SAR for the iPhone XR Models A1984, A2107 and A2108 (BCG-E3220A) for cellular transmission is 0.90 watts per kilogram (w/kg) at the head, and 1.10 w/kg when worn on the body. The hotspot/Airplay SAR is 1.10 w/kg. The SAR for simultaneous transmission (cellular plus Wi-Fi) is 1.41 w/kg at the head, 1.59 w/kg when worn on the body, and 1.59 w/kg when used as a hotspot. (2)

All SARs reported above are averaged over one gram of body tissue corresponding to the US guidelines. The SAR values may vary by cell phone carrier. 

The SAR values listed above are for conventional cell phone communications using spectrum licensed to cell phone carriers (i.e., PCE). Apple has not yet posted the SAR values for these phones on its website. Apple will likely list slightly higher values for the head and body which represent cell phone communications using unlicensed spectrum (i.e., NII). Note that Apple does not report on its website the SARs in hotspot mode or for simultaneous transmission of cellular and Wi-Fi.

The minimum separation distance for body-worn testing was 5 mm (about two-tenths of an inch).

Outside of the United States, Apple markets other versions of these iPhone models that use different carrier frequencies. The names for these models are A2097, A2098, A2101, and A2102. The corresponding FCC IDs for these models are BCG-3232A, BCG-3233A, BCG-3234A, BCG-3235A, respectively. The SARs (averaged over 1 gram) are similar to those reported above. Note that some countries require the SARs to be averaged over 10 grams which is a more permissive test of RF exposure than averaging over 1 gram.

The SAR values for the Samsung Galaxy S8, 8 Plus, and Note smart phones were obtained at a separation distance of 15 mm (about six-tenths of an inch) from the torso so the body-worn SAR values are not comparable to those reported for the Apple iPhones. For more information see my article about Samsung smart phones.

What do SAR values mean to the consumer?

The legal limit for the SAR in the U.S. is 1.60 w/kg (averaged over one gram). In many countries the legal limit for the SAR is 2.00 w/kg (averaged over ten grams) which enables the body to absorb 2-3 times the radiation than the U.S. guideline permits.

The FCC requires that all cell phone models be tested for their Specific Absorption Rate or SAR prior to marketing. The SAR is a measure of the maximum amount of microwave radiation absorbed by the head or the body. It is measured in a laboratory using an artificial model of a large adult male with different fluids to simulate human tissue. The SAR, which is measured in watts per kilogram, represents the maximum amount of energy absorbed in any one gram of tissue in the test model. Phones sold in the U.S. typically range in SAR values from about 0.20 w/kg up to the 1.60 legal limit. (3, 4)

The SAR test, adopted in 1996 by the FCC, was criticized by the U.S. Government Accountability Office in 2012. (5) The test does not reflect those who currently use cell phones, nor does it correspond to the way people use them. Today many children are cell phone users--the child’s brain absorbs twice the radiation as the adult’s brain. Moreover, the artificial head does not contain any metal (e.g., dental fillings, earrings, or eyeglass frames) which could increase the radiation absorption beyond the measured SAR in the laboratory. (5)

The FCC assumes that consumers will carry their cell phones in a manufacturer-approved holder that keeps the phone a minimum distance away from the body. However, most people do not keep their phone in a cell phone holder. For the body-worn SAR test, the FCC allows the manufacturer to choose the separation distance between the cell phone and the test model as long as consumers are informed about the minimum distance tested. However, few consumers are aware of the manufacturer’s recommended minimum body separation distance from their cell phone because this information is often difficult to find. Thus, most consumers are in the dark about precautions they can take to keep their exposure to microwave radiation below the legal limit. This prompted the city of Berkeley, California to adopt landmark legislation that requires cellphone retailers to inform their customers about the manufacturer’s safety information.

To ensure that the cell phone does not exceed the legal limit, consumers should never keep their cell phone in their pockets or next to their skin. The cell phone is not tested directly against the body because almost all cell phones would fail the SAR test as the radiation absorption increases dramatically when the cell phone is close to the body.

Is the legal limit sufficient to protect the cell phone user’s health?

Federal policies in the U.S. could lead the public to believe that all legally-marketed cell phones are safe, and that a cell phone's SAR doesn't matter as long as it meets the legal limit of 1.6 watts per kilogram. (3, 4)

However, the Environmental Working Group and experts point out that the SAR only measures the maximum microwave absorption from cell phone use that perfectly matches laboratory conditions. The SAR is not a good indicator of one’s cumulative microwave dose under naturalistic conditions.  The research evidence suggests that how one uses the phone (e.g., hands-free) and one’s cell phone carrier actually matters more than the phone’s SAR level.  (4, 6, 7)

The SAR standard was developed to protect users only from the acute effects of the heat generated by microwave radiation (i.e., the thermal effect). (5) The SAR limit does not protect users from the non-thermal effects caused by the cumulative exposure over time to cell phone radiation.

Yet, thousands of laboratory studies with animals and cell samples have found deleterious biologic effects from short-term exposure to low intensity cell phone radiation, including development of stress proteins, micronuclei, free radicals, DNA breakage, and sperm damage. (8) Human studies have also found that brief exposure to cell phone radiation alters brain activity and can open the blood-brain barrier which could enable chemical toxins in the circulatory system to penetrate the brain. (9)

Major studies with humans have found increased cancer risk, including a three-fold increase in brain cancer among those who used wireless phones (cell phones and cordless phones) for 25 or more years. (10)  Based upon this research, the World Health Organization in 2011 declared radiofrequency radiation "possibly carcinogenic" in humans (Group 2B). (11)

Other risks from cell phone use include reproductive harm and male infertility, and neurological disorders (e.g., impaired cognitive functioning, headaches and migraines, and ADHD [attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder]) in children. (12, 13)

Based upon the weight of the evidence from several decades of research including thousands of peer-reviewed published studies, many experts worldwide have signed declarations calling upon government to adopt stronger radiation standards to protect consumers from low intensity, non-thermal exposures from radiation associated with wireless communications, and to alert consumers about how to reduce their risk of harm. (14 -16)

Recent evidence suggests that brain tumor incidence is increasing in the U.S. and other countries and exposure to cell phone radiation may be contributing to this increase. (17) More than 240 scientists who have published peer-reviewed research on electromagnetic fields and biology or health have signed a petition, the International EMF Scientist Appeal, calling for stronger regulation of wireless radiation.

For tips on how to reduce exposure to wireless radiation, see "
Some Tips to Reduce Your Exposure to Wireless Radiation". (18) In short, limit your use of the phone, keep the phone away from your body whenever it is powered on, use the phone hands-free, and turn off transmitters not in use (e.g., shut off Wi-Fi or use airplane mode).

References

(1a) UL Verification Services, Inc. SAR Evaluation Report for Smartphone. FCC ID: BCG-E3218A. Model Name: A1920, A2099, A2100. Prepared for Apple, Inc. Report Number: 12124121-S1V2. Issue Date: 8/30/2018. Fremont, CA. https://fccid.io/BCG-E3218A/RF-Exposure-Info/SAR-Test-Report-1-of-11-3986211


(1b) UL Verification Services, Inc. SAR Evaluation Report for Smartphone. FCC ID: BCG-E3219A. Model Name: A1921, A2103, A2104. Prepared for Apple, Inc. Report Number: 12124122-S1V1. Issue Date: 8/30/2018. Fremont, CA. https://fccid.io/BCG-E3219A/RF-Exposure-Info/SAR-Test-Report-1-of-10-3986223

(2) UL Verification Services, Inc. SAR Evaluation Report for Smartphone. FCC ID: BCG-E3220A. Model Name: A1984, 2108, 2107. Prepared for Apple, Inc. Report Number: 12162294-S1V1. Issue Date: 8/30/2018. Fremont, CA. https://fccid.io/BCG-E3220A/RF-Exposure-Info/SAR-test-report-1-of-10-3989380

(3) FCC. Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) for Cellular Telephones. Undated. http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/specific-absorption-rate-sar-cellular-telephones

(4) FCC. “Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) For Cell Phones: What It Means For You.” Undated. http://www.fcc.gov/guides/specific-absorption-rate-sar-cell-phones-what-it-means-you

(5) Joel Moskowitz. “"Comments on the 2012 GAO Report: 'Exposure and Testing Requirements for Mobile Phones Should Be Reassessed'.:” http://www.saferemr.com/2013/01/commentary-gao-2012-report-on-mobile.html

(6) Wolchover N. Radiation Risk: Are Some Cellphones More Dangerous Than Others? Life's Little Mysteries. June 23, 2011. http://www.lifeslittlemysteries.com/1550-radiation-risk-some-cell-phones-more-dangerous-than-others.html

(7) Environmental Working Group. EWG’s Guide to Safer Cell Phone Use: Where is EWG's cell phone database? August 27 2013. 

(8) Giuliani L. Soffritti M. Non-thermal effects and mechanisms of interaction between electromagnetic fields and living matter. ICEMS Monograph. Bologna, Italy: National Institute for the Study and Control of Cancer. 2010. http://www.icems.eu/papers.htm

(9) Joel Moskowitz. “LTE Cell Phone Radiation Affects Brain Activity in Cell Phone Users.” Sep 20, 2013. http://www.prlog.org/12215083

(10) Joel Moskowitz. “Brain Cancer Risk Increases with the Amount of Wireless Phone Use: Study. http://www.prlog.org/12216483

(11) Joel Moskowitz. “Most Significant Government Health Report on Mobile Phone Radiation Ever Published.” http://www.prlog.org/12125230

(12) Joel Moskowitz. “Cell Phone Radiation, Pregnancy, and Sperm.” Nov 19, 2012.     http://www.prlog.org/12026867

(13) Joel Moskowitz. “Cell Phone Use and Prenatal Exposure to Cell Phone Radiation May Cause Headaches in Children.“ http://www.prlog.org/12269207

(14) Joel Moskowitz. “Part I: Why We Need Stronger Cell Phone Radiation Regulations--Key Testimony Submitted to the FCC.” Aug 4, 2014. http://www.saferemr.com/2014/08/why-we-need-stronger-cell-phone.html

(15) Joel Moskowitz. “Part II: Why We Need Stronger Cell Phone Radiation Regulations--Key Research Papers Submitted to the FCC.” Aug 4, 2014. http://www.saferemr.com/2014/08/why-we-need-stronger-cell-phone_43.html

(16) Joel Moskowitz. “Part III: Why We Need Stronger Cell Phone Radiation Regulations--98 Scientific Experts Who Signed Resolutions.” Aug 4, 2014. http://www.saferemr.com/2014/08/why-we-need-stronger-cell-phone_4.html

(17) Joel Moskowitz. Brain Tumor Rates are Increasing in the U.S.: The Role of Cell Phone and Cordless Phone Use. 
http://bit.ly/risingtumors

(18) Joel Moskowitz. Some Tips to Reduce Your Exposure to Wireless Radiation  (one page handout). Undated. 
http://bit.ly/saferemrtips3

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

National Toxicology Program Finds Cell Phone Radiation Causes Cancer




More Information:
and
ICNIRP’s Exposure Guidelines for Radio Frequency Fields



Sep 12, 2018

NTP Scientists Report DNA Damage in Male and Female Mice and Male Rats 
Following Subchronic Exposure to Cell Phone Radiation

Smith-Roe SL, Wyde ME, Stout MD, Winters JW, Hobbs CA, Shepard KG, Green AS, Kissling GE, Tice RR, Bucher JR, Witt KL.Evaluation of the genotoxicity of cell phone radiofrequency radiation in male and female rats and mice following subchronic exposure. 49th Annual Meeting of the Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society. San Antonio, Texas. Sep 22-26, 2018. Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis; 59 (Suppl. 1): 85-85. Meeting abstract: P9.  Sep 2018.

National Toxicology Program/NIEHS, Research Triangle Park, NC, and Integrated Laboratory Systems, Inc., Research Triangle Park, NC.

Abstract

The National Toxicology Program tested the two common radiofrequency radiation (RFR) modulations emitted by cellular telephones in a 2-year rodent cancer bioassay that included additional animal cohorts for interim assessments of genotoxicity endpoints.

Male and female Sprague Dawley rats and B6C3F1/N mice were exposed from gestation day 5 or postnatal day 35, respectively, to code division multiple access (CDMA) or global system for mobile (GSM) modulations semi-continuously for 18 h/day in 10 min intervals in reverberation chambers at specific absorption rates (SAR) of 1.5, 3, or 6 W/kg (rats) or 2.5, 5, or 10 W/kg (mice). Rats and mice were exposed at 900 MHz or 1900 MHz, respectively. The interim cohorts, 5 animals per treatment group, were examined after 19 (rats) or 13 (mice) weeks of exposure for evidence of RFR-induced genotoxicity. DNA damage was assessed in three brain regions (frontal cortex, hippocampus, and cerebellum), and in liver cells and 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 (both modulations), peripheral leukocytes of female mice (CDMA only), and hippocampus of male rats (CDMA only). DNA damage was nominally elevated in several other tissues of RFR-exposed rats, although statistical significance was not achieved. No significant increases in micronucleated red blood cells were observed in rats or mice. 

These results suggest that exposure to RFR has the potential to induce measurable DNA damage under certain exposure conditions.

--

August 28, 2018 (Updated August 29)


“Clear evidence of cell-phone RF radiation cancer risk”

In a new paper, “Clear evidence of cell-phone RF radiation cancer risk” published in the journal IEEE Microwave Magazine, Dr. James C. Lin states that the results of the National Toxicology Program (NTP) cell phone radiation study suggest that current radio frequency (RF) exposure guidelines are inadequate to protect human health (1). Furthermore, the paper recommends that the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) re-assess the research and consider upgrading the classification of RF radiation from "possibly carcinogenic to humans" (Group 2B) to probably carcinogenic (i.e., Group 2A).

Although Dr. Lin raises some criticisms of the NTP study in this and an earlier paper (1, 2), he recognizes the importance of this research to the field and the implications of the study findings for public health (2).

He praised the FDA and the NTP for the initiation and conduct of the study and emphasized the need for the “U.S. government to step in and conduct such research programs and not leave the matter entirely to the cell-phone industry” due to his concern that “The wireless industry has had nearly free reign to develop and distribute cellular mobile phones and related RF devices as they see fit.”

The publication of this article now is especially relevant because the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) is in the process of updating its RF radiation exposure guidelines. ICNIRP plans to reaffirm its obsolete guidelines based upon the Commission's long-standing position that exposure to non-thermal levels of RF radiation does not pose any health risks. Dr. Lin served as an ICNIRP Commissioner from 2004-2016 and chaired ICNIRP's Standing Committee on Physics and Engineering from 2008-2012.

Dr. Lin was one of fourteen experts convened by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to review the National Toxicology Program’s cell phone radiation study in March of this year. He is a professor of electrical engineering, bioengineering, physiology, and biophysics at the University of Illinois, Chicago. His publications include ten books, hundreds of papers and book chapters, and he has made hundreds of presentations at professional conferences. He has served on the editorial board of fifteen professional journals and has received numerous awardsand honors throughout his distinguished career.

Following are key passages from Dr. Lin’s paper (1): 

“On 28 March 2018, following a thorough review of the draft NTP reports, pathologists and toxicologists on the peer-review panel concluded that, among other observations, there was statistically significant and “clear evidence” that both GSM- and CDMA-modulated RF radiation had led to the development of malignant schwannoma (a rare form of tumor) in the heart of male rats (of the Harlan-Sprague-Dawley strain). Further, there was “equivocal evidence” for the same schwannoma risk among female rats.
The panel also noted that there were unusual patterns of cardiomyopathy, or damage to heart tissue, in both RF-exposed male and female rats when compared with concurrent control animals. In addition, based on statistical significance, the panel concluded that the pathology findings showed indications of “some evidence” for RF-dependent carcinogenic activity in the brain of male rats, specifically glioma. However, the findings for female rats were deemed as providing only “equivocal evidence” for malignant gliomas when compared with concurrent controls.” (pp. 16-17)

“The NTP cell-phone RF exposure study is, by far, the largest study of its kind [5]. It was expensive and time consuming, and there may even have been better ways to perform the study. Nevertheless, it highlights that prolonged exposure to RF radiation at, or a little above, currently existing RF exposure regulation levels could lead to tumor development. The current RF exposure guidelines of 1.6 or 2.0 W/kg are promulgated with a reduction factor of 50 as a safety margin for the general public and to provide protection against presumed hazardous biological effects in humans [5], [6]. The finding that RF exposure could lead to dose-dependent cancer development at levels that are the same or three times above current exposure guidelines is significant.
 This implies that the safety margin may be no more than a factor of three. In fact, one recommendation (IEEE C95.1-2005) has a set of guidelines under controlled environments that allows local SARs of the brain and heart to be as much as 10 W/kg [7]. An SAR of 10 W/kg is considerably higher than the 1.5, 3.0, and 6.0 W/kg used in the NTP study.” “Because all tissue and organs were similarly exposed and had comparable SARs, it is important for the NTP team to perform a statistical comparison of total primary malignancies in all tissue and organs observed in RF-exposed and concurrent control rats before issuing its final report. Given that hyperplasia (the enlargement of tissue or organs caused by an increased rate of cell growth in the initial stage of cancer development) often leads to neoplasm, the statistical analysis should also include findings of hyperplasia.”  (p. 18)

“The FDA should be applauded for initiating and the NIEHS/NTP praised for having sponsored the research and conducted the cell-phone RF radiation studies. It’s important for the U.S. government to step in and conduct such research programs and not leave the matter entirely to the cell-phone industry. The wireless industry has had nearly free reign to develop and distribute cellular mobile phones and related RF devices as they see fit. The completion of this NTP study should not signify the end of the U.S. government’s role in supporting RF biological effects research because we continue to be exposed to more RF radiation every day [8], [9].” (p. 20)

“Malignant schwannoma in rat hearts were the most salient findings from the NTP RF bioassay. Acoustic schwannomas in human brains and malignant schwannomas in rat hearts were independently observed from two different body tissues in humans and rats. There could actually be a link between Schwann cells that wrap around both nerve tissues in the heart and along the auditory nervous system.” (p. 22) 

“Because all tissue and organs were similarly exposed and had comparable SARs, it is important for the NTP team to perform a statistical comparison of total primary malignancies in all tissue and organs observed in RF-exposed and concurrent control rats before issuing its final report. Given that hyperplasia (the enlargement of tissue or organs caused by an increased rate of cell growth in the initial stage of cancer development) often leads to neoplasm, the statistical analysis should also include findings of hyperplasia.” (p. 22)
[Note: I provided similar suggestions for analysis of the data in my critique of the NTP study(3)] 

“Now that the NTP review panel has concluded there is clear evidence of carcinogenicity from long-term RF exposure in rats, is it conceivable that the IARC would upgrade its epidemiology-based classification of RF exposure to the next level of carcinogenicity to humans?
As noted earlier, the existing RF exposure guidelines of 1.6 or 2.0 W/kg are promulgated with a reduction factor of 50, as a safety margin for the general public. The finding that long-term RF exposure could lead to cancer development in rats at levels that are the same as or no greater than a factor of three above these exposure guidelines is significant.
While complacencies abound for short-term exposure guidelines in terms of providing safety protection, an outstanding question persists concerning the adequacy of these guidelines for safe, long-term exposure to RF radiation at or below 1.6 or 2.0 W/kg. Perhaps the time has come to judiciously reassess, revise, and update these guidelines." (pp. 22-23)

References

(1) Lin JC. Clear evidence of cell-phone RF radiation cancer risk. IEEE Microwave Magazine.  19(6):16-24. Sep/Oct 2018. DOI: 10.1109/MMM.2018.2844058. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/8425056/

(2) Lin JC. The NTP cell phone RF radiation health effects project. IEEE Microwave Magazine. 18(1): 15-17. Jan/Feb 2017. DOI: 10.1109/MMM.2016.2616239. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7779288/

(3) Moskowitz JM. Comments about the NTP cell phone radiation studies. School of Public Health, UC Berkeley. Submitted to the National Toxicology Program, Mar 12, 2018. http://bit.ly/NTPcommentsJMM180312

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June 25, 2018

NTP Scientific Advisory Board Updated on NTP Cell Phone Radiation Studies

The NTP cell phone radiation studies were discussed at the NTP’s Board of Scientific Counselors Meeting on June 20, 2018. Two scientists from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Drs. Chad Blystone and Michael Wyde, made presentations to the Board.

Dr. Blystone presented a summary of the peer review of the cell phone radiation studies conducted by the NTP.

 “There was robust discussion by the Peer Review Panels on the exposure system and NTP’s draft scientific interpretations. The Panel recommended increasing the NTP’s level of evidence calls regarding the heart in male and female rats, adrenal gland in male rats (GSM only), and the brain (gliomas) in male rats of both modulations.

The Panel’s comments on the draft interpretations will be captured in the peer review report, which will be posted with other meeting materials when completed. NTP will carefully consider the Panel’s recommendations when finalizing these technical reports, which will be published on the NTP website in fall 2018 (https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/go/36144).”


Dr. Wyde summarized the results of the cell phone radiation studies:

“The primary finding observed in mice in these studies was increased DNA damage in cells of the frontal cortex of RFR-exposed male mice (both GSM and CDMA). This finding was not associated with any change in brain tumors in the 2-year studies; however, elevated incidences of neoplastic lesions were observed in male (skin and lung) and female mice (malignant lymphomas). These incidences may have been related to RFR exposure and were considered equivocal evidence of carcinogenicity for RFR at 1900 MHz for both GSM or CDMA modulations.

In the rat studies, exposures were initiated in utero and consistently resulted in exposure concentration-related decreases in pup body weight and body weight gains during the perinatal period. In general, decreased pup survival was observed at the higher levels of RFR tested. Increased DNA damage in cells of the hippocampus and frontal cortex was observed in RFR-exposed male mice from the CDMA study. Lower survival in control group was observed and attributed to high severity of chronic progressive nephropathy. At the end of the 2-year studies, increased incidences were observed in malignant schwannomas and right ventricular cardiomyopathy in the heart, malignant gliomas in the brain, and pheochromocytoma in the adrenal medulla (GSM only) of male rats. A number of neoplastic lesions were also observed that were considered equivocal findings that may have been related to RFR exposure in male (brain (granular cell tumors), pituitary gland, prostate, liver, adrenal gland, and pancreas) and female rats (heart, brain, and adrenal gland).”


Dr. Wyde also discussed followup studies that NTP plans to conduct:

“Follow-up studies will seek to investigate the perinatal effects, and further characterize organ-specific effects (heart, brain, adrenal medulla) in rats via immuno- and enzyme-histochemistry and molecular pathology methods. The impact of RFR exposure on behavior and stress will be further investigated, including the assessment of activity, response to system-generated noise and RFR signals, evaluation of stress indicators, measurement of stress hormones, and heart rate. The primary areas of mechanistic research will include investigation into the role of heat as a contributing factor to RFR-induced effects, oxidative stress mechanisms, changes in gene expression in multiple tissues, and the effect on DNA damage and repair. Given the positive effects on DNA damage in both rats and mice and the high level of interindividual variability that was observed in the small number of animals evaluated per sex per dose group (n=5) in the comet assay, it is important to replicate the comet assays to confirm DNA damage effects, as well as conduct additional, more-specific and robust assays to evaluate DNA damage and DNA repair enzymes.

Additionally, follow-up studies will address issues and criticisms raised during peer review of the NTP RFR studies in March 2018, including temperature measurement during periods of animal inactivity, evaluation of stress markers, evaluation of behavior changes during exposures, and measurement of food consumption. Additional studies will have the potential to expand to newer, current technologies and those evolving technologies that will become the new standard in the telecommunications industry.”


Written public comments were submitted by Dr. Annie Sasco, P.K. Mahesh, the Environmental Working Group, and Phonegate Alert. The comments supported the study design, the peer review panel's interpretation of results, the need for NTP to conduct health research on newer wireless technology, and the importance of public health warnings about exposure to cell phone radiation.


May 15, 2018

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.