‘Game-changing’ study links cellphone radiation to cancer

“It’s the moment we’ve all been dreading. Initial findings from a massive [U.S.] federal study, released on Thursday, suggest that radio-frequency (RF) radiation, the type emitted by cellphones, can cause cancer,” Josh Harkinson reports for Mother Jones. “The findings from a $25 million study, conducted over two-and-a-half years by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), showed that male rats exposed to two types of RF radiation were significantly more likely than unexposed rats to develop a type of brain cancer called a glioma, and also had a higher chance of developing the rare, malignant form of tumor known as a schwannoma of the heart.”

“The radiation level the rats received was ‘not very different’ from what humans are exposed to when they use cell phones, said Chris Portier, former associate director of the NTP, who commissioned the study,” Harkinson reports. “Although ionizing radiation, which includes gamma rays and x-rays, is a widely accepted as a carcinogen, the wireless industry has long noted that there is no known mechanism by which RF radiation causes cancer. The researchers wrote that the results ‘appear to support’ the conclusion that RF radiation may indeed be carcinogenic.”

“The authors of the NTP study did not say how their results might translate into cancer risk for humans. But ‘given the extremely large number of people who use wireless communication devices,’ they wrote, ‘even a very small increase in the incidence of disease resulting from exposure to RFR resulting from those devices could have broad implications for public health,’ Harkinson reports. “The wireless industry and many media outlets — particularly tech sites, which depend on the industry for advertising — have confidently proclaimed that the science on cell phone safety is settled. You ‘can’t choose to ‘believe’ in facts because they are, well, facts,’ Charlie Sorrell wrote in Wiredin 2011, after detailing the results of a Danish epidemiological study showing no link between cellphone use and cancer. ‘So there you go, people. Finally you can ditch that dorky Bluetooth headset. Your brain isn’t being microwaved after all.'”

“But Portier says there still isn’t enough data to consider the case closed,” Harkinson reports. ‘There are arguments in the literature now that we are at the beginning of an epidemic of cancers,’ he told me. ‘There are arguments against that. It is not clear who is right. I have looked through it. It’s a mixed bag.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The jury is still out, but this is certainly a sobering study.

Thank God, we here at MacDailyNews, hardly ever use our cellphones to make phone calls at all, much less have them pressed up against our skulls. In fact, we’ve probably taken less than 100 calls since iPhone was introduced in 2007 and we can’t remember the last cellphone call we had that lasted more than a couple of minutes. We almost always use our iPhones on Wi-Fi and for data (browsing, texting, mail, etc.), not voice over cellular — hopefully Wi-Fi is safe or we’re all in big trouble!

Study claims cellphone radiation can cause cancer – July 31, 2015
U.S. watchdog calls for regulators to review of cell phone radiation rules – August 8, 2012
FCC’s Genachowski looks to open new inquiry into cellphone radiation emissions – June 16, 2012
New research doubts link between cellphones and cancer – July 5, 2011


    1. Energy dissipated in human tissues is reduced by the square of the distance from the RF source. You don’t put your high powered WiFi router next to your ear, so that piece of equipment won’t cause a problem.

      WiFi, Bluetooth and Cellular signals from a cell phone held to your ear is another matter. Bluetooth is the weakest of the signals in terms of energy.

      Off the top of my head, I’ld say that using a BT earpiece is a lot better choice for conversations. If you are still paranoid, then take the BT earpiece out when you are not talking.

  1. “radio-frequency (RF) radiation, the type emitted by cellphones, can cause cancer”
    Hasn’t this study been done before? I remember hearing about this back in the ’90s. Anyone remember those infomercials for those little stickers you could place between the battery and inside of your cell phone to deflect the radiation?

  2. Take it from someone who holds a license to expose humans to Ionizing Radiation.
    If you pass energy through a cell it will have impact with the big question being what impact.

    Radio waves follow the inverse square for intensity. Also, higher frequency means a more penetrating impact. Some EM radiation has little potential, for example an Alpha Ray can be stopped by a sheet of paper and a Beta by a thin sheet of aluminum foil. Others have significant impact.

    Repeated exposure also has a cumulative effect.

    I have not studied the impact of RF in the bands used for cell phones on human tissue, but I will tell you what I do personally. I mostly use Bluetooth in the car, and a Bluetooth Speakerphone at home. When running or walking, I use earbuds and occasionally a Bluetooth Plantronics Headset.

    The history of humans and radiation has been one where scientists repeatedly did not recognize or underestimated the impact of radiation on our bodies. Many early Radiologists and Radiologic Technologists suffered from cumulative effects radiation exposure including Emil Grubbe who was the first to perform Radiotherapy.

    Cannot give you medical advice, but I would be careful.

    Also, since the earlier in life an exposure occurs the higher it’s potential for genetic impact. Not saying don’t give a phone to your kids, but I would not.

    Gliiomas are nasty and it is a horrible thing to die from.

  3. And in other news, masturbation causes hair to fall off male rats and hair to grow on hands of human males! There is no data on what happens to female rats or female humans who masturbate because once again females are not included in the studies. Oh wait, females aren’t suppose to do things like that!

  4. “‘There are arguments in the literature now that we are at the beginning of an epidemic of cancers.” Cell phones and other electromagnetic radiation may be a factor. But I’d take bets that the typical western diet is a much bigger contributor.

    1. I totally agree. The standard American diet (SAD) which is ultra-high in carbohydrates is making people obese, making them type II diabetic and giving them high blood pressure in addition to increasing their risk for cancer.
      After decades, we are finding that the government nutrition recommendations are killing us and were not based in science but, instead, were based in politics.

      1. Peddle your animal & drug industry propaganda somewhere else, pal. Or better yet, nowhere. If you really think “carbohydrates” cause obesity, you really need to reconsider where you’ve been getting your “information”. Maybe take a look at all the frigging fat you eat every day and wonder where it goes.

        1. “Hello” please go “Goodbye.” I wonder where YOU’RE getting your own information from. Carbohydrates ARE a killer causing body inflammation, elevated blood sugar and all manor of human health mischief. A diet more plant based ala vegetarian (in my case Pescatarian) is far more healthy and kinder to the human body which has never adapted to processed white carbs. Bread, flour items, potato’s, rice, pasta are things diabetics should avoid or greatly minimize. Therefore they should also be avoided or eaten in extreme moderation by others not yet diabetic. Refined carbohydrates are a big cause of obesity PRECISELY and guess what lots’s of fat people eat to stay fat? I know all this from firsthand experience. I am so much healthier now, dropping weight, blood sugar is now managed and have much more energy.

          So peddle your own dangerous misinformation and ghastly ignorant understanding of proper nutrition elsewhere to the obese who will love to hear they can consume all the carbohydrates they desire without ill effect, as they get sicker and fatter.

    1. I’m in two minds over this controversy.

      If you wanted to select a radio frequency to penetrate the skull and brain, the frequencies used by cellphones would be an excellent candidate. Furthermore, with radio signals, due to the largely spherical propagation pattern, the intensity close to the source ( handset aerial ) is very intense and diminishes very rapidly with distance. It’s called the inverse square law. Put very simply, every time you double the distance from the source, you quarter the energy received. Or to turn it around, every time you halve the distance, you boost the power four fold.

      When a cellphone is communicating with a tower a couple of kilometers away, the user is holding it about 2cm from their head. If you care to do the calculations, you can see how the head is being bombarded with massively more power than the cellphone is. It’s made worse when you talk to a distant tower as the cellphone automatically boosts the transmit power to keep it working ( but reduces the radiation power when closer to save battery energy ).

      Intuitively, it seems to me that this much RF radiation squirted into our heads has to be a bad thing, but it’s also important to note that cellphones have been widely used for thirty years and if a major problem were happening, there should be some very clear evidence of it by now.

      It’s such an obvious area for concern that there have been many studies over the years and some of them have come out one way or another, but most seem to conclude that whatever effect there might be, doesn’t seem to be significant in humans.

    1. Actually, after many years of peer-reviewed studies, scientists have conclusively determined that is is indeed white mice that cause cancer.


    1. Yeah, but is anyone surprised to see this pap coming from that Mother Jones rag? This “problem” is way old news – part of the general EMF threat. Cars are probably more hazardous to your health.

  5. Actually, the headline should read

    Game-changing’ study links cellphone radiation to cancer in rats

    Those last two words are very important. Medical science is full of examples where risks are totally different in different species of test animals. Rats are not humans… Just one example, the thickness of a human skull is much greater than a rat’s – so radiation reaching a human brain brain would be decreased. Did they control for this and many other factors? It is difficult to extrapolate these results to humans.

  6. Read the study, hasn’t passed peer review yet so it’s a click bait headline right now. The study used RF signals in their cages from pregnancy through their life span, about 10 months. You’d have to stand in front of a RF signal generator to get the same effect, or sleep in a bed full of phone that were constantly on.

    I doubt it will make it past peer review or further study but the media won’t report that part. It’ll just go down as another urban legend that phones cause cancer…

    Oddly, only the male rats were affected, not the females

  7. the wireless industry has long noted that there is no known mechanism by which RF radiation causes cancer. The researchers wrote that the results ‘appear to support’ the conclusion that RF radiation may indeed be carcinogenic.

    RF refers to Radio Frequency.
    RFR refers to Radio Frequency Radiation.

    Wikipedia has a reasonable article about the EM (Electromagnetic) radiation spectrum:

    Personal obsession stuff:
    It’s wonderful to read an article that uses accurate terminology! Somehow, part of the world lost track of the term ‘light’, which refers only to the humanly visible portion of the EM spectrum. That means the odd phrase ‘visible light’ is redundant. If you disagree with me, please go read any published dictionary in existence.

    Every living human has spent their entire life within an environment of human created RF waves. In and of themselves, they are not carcinogenic. What’s of concern is the amplitude, ‘volume’ or concentration of RF waves created by cell phones. It’s also possible that certain frequencies of RF radiation could create situations of resonance that may be dangerous.

    Dr. Science stuff: Microwave ovens use the resonance of high frequency RF waves to cause the vibration of water molecules, resulting in the release of heat (infrared energy) that boils the water, heating everything nearby, specifically food.

    1. On an interesting note about Microwaves, they are also produced naturally via evaporation of water.. In small concentrations mind you but can be experienced somewhat near large calm bodies like ponds or lakes in sufficient amounts to feel bit warm.

      1. I wonder if this is a reverse of the effect! The energy state changes from gas to liquid, electrons drop an energy state, microwaves are the resulting energy. I don’t know as I am no physicist. But that’s fascinating.

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