Two draft reports from the National Toxicology Programme (NTP), released recently, offer mixed findings on a potential association between cell phone use and cancer.
Researchers conducted studies in which rats and mice were exposed to varying levels of radiofrequency radiation (RFR) for roughly 9 hours a day for up to 2 years. Among the findings:
♦ In male rats, the incidence of malignant schwannomas of the heart increased with increasing levels of RFR exposure beyond that allowed by cell phones.
♦ There was no association between RFR and malignant schwannomas in female rats or in mice of either sex.
♦ In both rats and mice, there were significant increases in tumours found in other organs, such as the brain, prostate, liver, and pancreas. These findings, however, were considered equivocal.
♦ Ventricular cardiomyopathy increased with RFR exposure in rats but not mice.
“The levels and duration of exposure to RFR were much greater than what people experience with even the highest level of cell phone use, and exposed the rodents' whole bodies. So, these findings should not be directly extrapolated to human cell phone usage," said an NTP senior scientist in a news release. “We note, however, that the tumours we saw in these studies are similar to tumours previously reported in some studies of frequent cell phone users."