US National Toxicology Program (NTP) – Mobile Phone Study Results Published
The US National Toxicology Program (NTP) has released its Draft Technical Reports on the results of its two-year studies of RF exposure on mice and rats. The results will be subject to a three-day scientific review meeting in March 2018, after which the final reports on the studies will be completed and released.
The NTP press release summarising the results says
High exposure to radiofrequency radiation (RFR) in rodents resulted in tumors in tissues surrounding nerves in the hearts of male rats, but not female rats or any mice, according to draft studies from the National Toxicology Program (NTP). The exposure levels used in the studies were equal to and higher than the highest level permitted for local tissue exposure in cell phone emissions today. Cell phones typically emit lower levels of RFR than the maximum level allowed. NTP’s draft conclusions were released today as two technical reports, one for rat studies and one for mouse studies. NTP will hold an external expert review of its complete findings from these rodent studies March 26-28.
The incidence of tumors, called malignant schwannomas, that were observed in the heart increased in male rats as they were exposed to increasing levels of RFR beyond the allowable cell phone emissions. Researchers also noted increases in an unusual pattern of cardiomyopathy, or damage to heart tissue, in exposed male and female rats. Overall, there was little indication of health problems in mice related to RFR.
The reports also point out statistically significant increases in the number of rats and mice with tumors found in other organs at one or more of the exposure levels studied, including the brain, prostate gland, pituitary gland, adrenal gland, liver, and pancreas. However, the researchers determined that these were equivocal findings, meaning it was unclear if any of these tumor increases were related to RFR.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reviewed the NTP report and issued a statement
We respect the recently released research conducted by our colleagues at the National Toxicology Program (NTP), which is part of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences within the National Institutes of Health, on radiofrequency energy exposure. When we nominated this topic for study in 1999, there were limited epidemiological and long-term animal studies investigating the effects of radiofrequency energy exposure from cellular phones. Fortunately, since then, there have been hundreds of studies from which to draw a wealth of information about these technologies which have come to play an important role in our everyday lives.
Taken together, all of this research provides a more complete picture regarding radiofrequency energy exposure that has informed the FDA’s assessment of this important public health issue, and given us the confidence that the current safety limits for cell phone radiation remain acceptable for protecting the public health.