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US Study: High Levels Of Cell Phone Radiation Linked To Tumors in Male Rats

    Abdulaziz Sobh
    By Abdulaziz Sobh

    Categories: Health

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    US study: high levels of cell phone radiation linked to tumors in male rats

    Male rats exposed to very high levels of the type of radiation emitted by cell phones developed tissue tumors around their hearts, according to a preliminary report by US government researchers. UU About the potential risks to the health of the devices.

    Rats and female mice exposed in the same way did not develop tumors, according to the preliminary report of the National Toxicology Program of the United States (NTP), a part of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

    The findings add to years of research aimed at helping resolve the debate over whether cell phone radiation is harmful.

    Although intriguing, the findings can not be extrapolated to humans, the scientists of the NTP and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said on Friday. They noted that animal studies were intended to test extreme exposures to cell phone radiation and that the current safety limits on cell phone radiation are protective.

    However, the two 10-year, $ 25 million studies - the most comprehensive assessments of health effects and exposure to radiofrequency radiation in rats and mice to date - raise new questions about exposure to ubiquitous devices.

    In the studies, about 6 percent of male rats whose whole bodies were exposed to the highest level of cellular radiation developed schwannomas (a rare type of tumor) in nerve tissue near their hearts, while there were no schwannomas in animals that were not exposed to radiation.

    "The intriguing part of this is that the type of tumors we saw was similar to the tumors seen for quite some time in some epidemiological studies of high-resistance cell phone users," John Bucher, a senior NTP scientist, said in an interview. telephone

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

    Dr. Otis Brawley, medical director of the American Cancer Society, said the studies were negative for common tumors.

    "These draft reports will create many concerns, but in fact, they will not change what I tell people: the evidence of an association between cell phones and cancer is weak, and so far, we have not seen a higher cancer risk." in people, "he said in a statement on Twitter.

    Brawley said that if cell phone users are concerned about these animal data, they should use a headset.

    Unlike ionizing radiation such as gamma radiation, radon, and X-rays, which can break chemical bonds in the body and are known to cause cancer, radiofrequency devices such as cell phones and microwaves emit radiofrequency energy, a form of non-ionizing radiation.

    The concern with this type of radiation is that it produces energy in the form of heat and frequent exposure to the skin could alter the activity of brain cells, as some studies suggest.

    In the NTP study, rats and mice were exposed to higher levels of radiation for longer periods of time than people experience even with the highest level of cell phone use, and all of their bodies were exposed from an only once, according to the preliminary report.

    Bucher said the effect probably only appeared in male rats because they were larger and probably absorbed more radiation than rats or female mice.

    Cell phones usually emit radiation levels lower than the maximum levels allowed, according to the draft report.

    Cell phone radiation dissipates rapidly, so the risk, if any, would be in areas of the body very close to the device that emits the radiation, Bucher said.

    He said the results are intended to help inform the design of future cell phone technologies. The study only analyzed the 2G and 3G frequencies, which are still commonly used for telephone calls. It does not apply to 4G or 5G, which use different frequencies and modulation, he said.

    NTP, a part of the National Institutes of Health, will conduct a review of external experts on its findings from March 26 to 28.

    Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, head of the division of radiological health of the FDA, said that there is not enough evidence to say that the use of the cell phone presents risks for the health of the people.

    "Even with the frequent daily use of the vast majority of adults, we have not seen an increase in events such as brain tumors," he said in a statement. "We believe that the current security limits for cell phones are acceptable to protect public health."

    When asked what the study audience should take, Bucher said: "I would not change my behavior based on these studies, and I did not."

    However, the findings are potentially a concern for device manufacturers, especially the world's three largest smartphone vendors, Apple Inc, Korea's Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and China's Huawei Technologies.

    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 that radio-frequency energy emissions from cell phones are not They have known risks to health.

    "We understand that the preliminary NTP reports for their studies of mice and rats will be published for comments and peer review so that their importance can be evaluated," the group said.

    Samsung and Apple did not respond immediately to requests for comments.