For over two decades, ever since the cell phone first surfaced on the retail market, the question has been whether cell phones can cause cancer. The U.S. government’s official position is “No” and that the weight of scientific evidence hasn’t indicated any health risks. However in 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) indicated cellphone radiation was a group 2B possible carcinogen.
On May27, 2016 as reported in the Wall Street Journal and many other publications, a U.S. government study conducted by the US National Toxicology Program (NTP) looked at extensive rodent toxicology and carcinogenesis studies of radiofrequency radiation (RFR) at frequencies and modulations used in the US telecommunications industry. The study found that rats exposed to RFR had increased incidence of malignant gliomas in the brain and schwannomas of the heart. The findings in this report were reviewed by expert peer reviewers selected by the NTP and National Institutes of Health (NIH).
This research is consistent with other research that identified that these two types of tumors the study identified also have been discovered in some previous epidemiological studies. Those studies, which have found instances of gliomas and acoustic neuromas, were key factors in the WHO’s decision to classify cellphone radiation as a possible carcinogen. The NTP report noted that its findings “appear to support” the classification that cell phones may cause cancer.
What should you take from this. It is likely that the latest findings could lead to changes in safety standards, such as only talking on a cellphone while using a headset and keeping the devices out of pants or shirt pockets. There will likely be new safety recommendations and regulations coming out in the next several months to years.