Rat Study Rekindles Cell Phone Link to Cancer

A new study conducted by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) released findings that could bring attention, once again, to the safety of the use of cell phones. Increases in rare cancers occurred in the brains and hearts of male rats exposed to high doses of nearly constant radiation from cell phones compared to rats that were not exposed at all. Exposed female rats had no increase in cancer, reports USA TODAY.

The rats were exposed to “whole body” cell phone radiation for nine hours a day for two years. Approximately 2 percent of exposed rats – 11 out of 540 – developed malignant gliomas, a type of brain tumor. About 3.5 percent of exposed rats – 19 out of 540 – developed a type of tumor, schwannoma in the heart. Schwannomas can develop in the acoustic nerve, as well, which involves the hearing, according to USA TODAY.

The report released by the NTP had even its officials who conducted the research acknowledging that further studies were warranted to provide the clear answers many seek.

Otis Brawley, chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society, who wasn’t involved in the research said, “For some years, the understanding of the potential risk of radiation from cell phones has been hampered by a lack of good science. This report from the NTP is good science.”  Brawley added, “It is interesting to note that early studies on the link between lung cancer and smoking had similar resistance, since theoretical arguments at the time suggested that there could not be a link,” reports the American Cancer Society.

The International Agency for Research on cancer, a subsidiary of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2011, classified cell phone use “as a possible carcinogen,” USA TODAY reports.

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