New cell phone and health studies don't eliminate uncertainty

Government research shows link between cell phone radiation and tumors in rats

They noted that the animal studies were meant to test extreme exposures to cell phone radiation, and that current safety limits on cellphone radiation are protective.

Six per cent of the male rats exposed to high doses of radiation developed tumours in their hearts. Among the male rats, scientists observed tumors in 6% of them, while in mice and female rats the studies weren't conclusive.

Following the release of the NTP study, the FDA Director of the Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Jeffrey Shuren, issued a statement expressing confidence that the current regulations around cellphone radiation are sufficient to protect the health of their users.

The study, which was conducted by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), was compiled by studying 3,000 mice and rats exposed to wide variety of cell phone radiation levels.

In the studies, which lasted 2 years, rats and mice of both sexes ran freely in specially constructed reverberation chambers where their entire bodies were exposed to radiation.

"I haven't changed the way I use a cellphone", Bucher said on a call with reporters.

Researchers from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said, "Even with frequent daily use by the vast majority of adults, we have not seen an increase in events like brain tumors". Asked if that points toward hazard for humans, he said phone providers are "moving more and more toward lower power exposures to humans" as new generations of mobile service come become available.

He added that despite the widespread and daily use of mobile phones, detection of tumors has not risen.

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"Of course, these were in the nerves in the ear and next to the brain, but the tumor types were the same as we saw in the heart".

The CTIA, the trade association representing AT&T Inc, Verizon Communications Inc, Apple Inc, Sprint Corp, DISH Network Corp, and others, said on Friday that previous studies have shown cellphone RF energy emissions have no known heath risks.

"International and USA organisations and health experts have maintained their longstanding conclusion that the scientific evidence shows no known health risk due to the RF energy emitted by cellphones", said Justin Cole, a spokesman for the trade group.

NTP, a part of the National Institutes of Health, will hold an external expert review of its findings on March 26-28.

Separately, the Federal Communications Commission in 2013 asked for comments on whether United States standards need to be updated to protect people from mobile phone radiation, and it hasn't acted.

However, some experts do worry about the potential risks of cell phone radiation.

Jonathan Samet, who led a prominent global scientific panel that concluded that cell phone radiation was a "probable" human carcinogen, predicts the new studies won't "nudge that classification in one direction or another".

The findings don't suggest that USA regulations on cellphone radiation need to be tightened, said Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, in a statement.

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