Major New Study Reveals Cellphone Radiation Causes Cancer

More dreaded news on the healthcare front this week, as a study released Thursday confirmed what most people already feared: radio-frequency radiation—the kind used in television broadcasting, satellite communications, and of course, cell phones—causes cancer.


The $25 million study, conducted over two and a half years by the U.S. National Toxicology Program, found significantly higher instances of two types of malignant tumors on male rats exposed to the same radio-frequency radiation currently used in the United States. Christopher Portier, former head of the NTP who commissioned the study, said the levels of radiation were “not very different” from what humans are currently exposed to via cell phones.

“This is by far—far and away—the most carefully done cell phone bioassay, a biological assessment. This is a classic study that is done for trying to understand cancers in humans,” Portier said. “There will have to be a lot of work after this to assess if it causes problems in humans, but the fact that you can do it in rats will be a big issue. It actually has me concerned, and I’m an expert.”

Researchers found that as the levels of radio-frequency radiation increased, more rats developed rare cancers in their brains (called gliomas) and heart (called schwannomas), while none of the control rats developed those two diseases. As the Consumerist notes, “these results seem to support earlier findings from epidemiological studies, which found the same kinds of tumors in humans.”

“This study in mice and rats is under review by additional experts,” a spokesman for the National Institute of Health said. “It is important to note that previous human, observational data collected in earlier, large-scale population-based studies have found limited evidence of an increased risk for developing cancer from cell phone use.”

The Federal Communications Commission, which has long considered studies on the link between radio waves and cancer “inconclusive,” released a statement Thursday:

“We are aware that the National Toxicology Program is studying this important issue. Scientific evidence always informs FCC rules on this matter. We will continue to follow all recommendations from federal health and safety experts including whether the FCC should modify its current policies and RF exposure limits.”

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