“Clear Evidence of Cancer” Concludes U.S. National Toxicology Program Expert Panel on Cell Phone Radiation


Scientific panel advises there is evidence for an association between both heart and brain cancers and cell phone radiation in large-scale animal study.

Expanded Press Release (with radio/TV/print news at bottom of page)

(Triangle Park, NC) March 28, 2018  

Scientific panel advises there is evidence for an association between both heart and brain cancers and cell phone radiation in large-scale animal study.

(Triangle Park, NC) Scientists concluded there is “clear evidence” linking cell phone radiation to the development of cancers in rats. The U.S. government invited an expert panel to make a majority-rules declaration in response to the $25 million U.S. government National Toxicology Program (NTP) study of cell phone radiation in animals. After a three-day review of the study data, they voted to strengthen the conclusions that cell phone radiation caused health effects in the cell phone radiation exposed rats and mice. 

Scientific American and The Nation both ran stories on the issue along with The News and Observer entitling their piece, “Can your cellphone cause cancer? Scientists find definitive link in study of rats.Ira Flatow of Science Friday also featured the scientific conference findings in a radio interview “Is There A Cell Phone Link To Cancer? A Definite Maybe” on March 30, 2018. 

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), National Toxicology Program released a statement about the conclusions of the panel for each endpoint, found here.  NIEHS also wrote an article on the March conclusions of “clear evidence” in an article entitled,  “NTP cell phone studies — experts recommend elevated conclusions.” See the presentation by NIEHS on DNA damage found in rats and mice. 

The peer review panel voted that the malignant schwannoma tumors found in the heart of male rats be scientifically categorized as “clear evidence of carcinogenicity” and that the malignant gliomas found in the brain of male rats be categorized as “some evidence of carcinogenicity.” In addition, they voted that the increased tumors of the adrenal medulla in male rats exposed to the GSM type of cell phone radiation be categorized as “some evidence of carcinogenicity,” adding a new type of tumor thought to be caused by the exposure. The expert panel advised strengthening the conclusions regarding seven different health effects. The panel called attention to statistically significant increases in an unusual pattern of cardiomyopathy, or damage to heart tissue, in exposed male and female rats. The panel highlighted that in Italy a recent animal
study on radiofrequency radiation at much lower radiation levels than the NTP study found the same types of rare malignancies.  

In addition to the heart and brain cancers, statistically significant increased numbers of tumors were found in other organs at one or more of the exposure levels studied, including the prostate gland, pituitary gland, adrenal gland, liver, and pancreas.  See the bottom of this release for a full list of cancer endpoints. 

“What should happen now is the FDA should be immediately working on developing a quantitative risk assessment from this data and in the meantime the FDA, FCC, and other agencies should promote precautionary measures for the population—especially for children,” said Ronald Melnick PhD, who led the design of the NTP study in his 28-year career as a scientist at the National Toxicology Program. Melnick is currently senior advisor to Environmental Health Trust (EHT).

“Enough is enough, how many more deaths would be needed before serious action is taken? Evidence just continues to accumulate. On March 28, 2018,  the external peer reviewers of the National Toxicology Program voted to increase the level of evidence for the causal role of radiofrequency radiation for several tumors and other negative health effects. It’s time for action,” commented Annie Sasco MD, DrPH, former Chief of Research Unit of Epidemiology for Cancer Prevention at the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization and medical advisor to EHT.

“The NTP study found far more than evidence of cancer. Animals exposed in their lifetimes to the same amount of radiation that a human can receive in theirs gave birth to smaller babies with more defects in their hearts. What also makes these results especially compelling is the fact that all well-designed studies of people with 10 or more years of exposures to cell phones find higher risks for comparable tumors—gliomas and acoustic neuromas. Yet exposures continue to increase every day in schools and homes throughout this nation as children are handed two-way microwave radiating devices to use next to their young developing bodies,” stated Devra Davis PhD, MPH, Visiting Professor of Medicine at Hebrew University and President of Environmental Health Trust, who added, “the Ramazzini Study published this week in Environmental Research found statistically significant increases of the same rare cancers as found in the National Toxicology Program study, but at radiation levels significantly lower than those of the NTP. Combined, these two studies strengthen the case that this radiation is a carcinogen. Cautionary action is urgently needed to reduce exposures for children and the rest of us. The chairman of our Business Advisory Group Frank Clegg, former President of Microsoft Canada, has advised: ‘I come from a smart industry. Tell us what we need to do and we will get it done.’”

This animal evidence, together with the extensive human evidence showing increased risk of gliomas of the brain and vestibular schwannomas in humans exposed to prolonged radiofrequency radiation, largely from cell phones, especially if the exposure begins at a young age, coupled with a rising incidence of brain cancers in young people in the U.S., conclusively confirms that radiofrequency radiation is a Category 1 human carcinogen,” explains Anthony Miller MD, Professor Emeritus, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, medical advisor to EHT, who has served as an advisor to the World Health Organization.   

“The peer reviewers reviewed the tumor data in a transparent scientific process. This landmark U.S. government study, in addition to the recently released Italian Ramazzini study, provides the scientific evidence governments need to take swift action to protect the public,” said Theodora Scarato, Executive Director of EHT who added, “The rollout of 5G small cells must be halted. Schools need to install wired internet networks. Communities should have maintained landlines. Solutions exist such as Ethernet and fiber optic networks. Public Health Departments need to initiate public awareness campaigns to educate the public on how to reduce exposure. People need to understand just how easy it is to use wired connections, instead of wireless radiation, especially at home. Employers need to prioritize this issue and make changes in the workplace to limit and minimize workplace exposures. We have a responsibility to take action on this issue now.”

Dr. Marc Arazi stated that he traveled from France 4000 miles to tell the National Toxicology Program scientists that the way cell phones are radiation tested do not reflect real human exposure and that the exposure levels they used are comparable and in fact lower than radiation exposures people can be experiencing from cell phone use. “In terms of actual use, almost all of our mobile phones expose us to levels 2 to 10 times higher than the limits allowed by the regulations to protect our health. I say this based on government radiation tests conducted between 2012 and 2016 by the French National Frequencies Agency on nearly 400 of the best-selling mobile phones in Europe. This issue is at the origin of the international health and industrial scandal called Phonegate. The radiation measurements found in the French tests far exceed the exposure levels used in the NTP study. I presented these revelations publicly during the  Peer Review session in front of the authors of the study and the scientists of the pane. I was pleased to hear Dr. John Bucher of the NTP explain to reporters how to reduce radiation exposure by keeping the phone at a distance from the body.

“This is an important step forward in our understanding. But the NTP study, in my judgement substantially underestimates the risk. That is because they used a reverberation exposure chamber which lowers the polarization of the electromagnetic field and can also produce substantial amounts of destructive interference. Both of these changes decrease biological effects,” stated Martin Pall, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Basic Medical Sciences, Washington State University.

“RFR from wireless devices appears to act as a common toxic exposure similar to other chemical toxins and metals. In this increasingly wireless environment, more people will be developing chronic diseases. It will take decades (if it is even possible) to sort out the additive contribution of harm from wireless technology. Your research indicates that guidelines need to be based on biological cellular effects and not thermal effects. Precaution is warranted. Reduction of exposure to RFR is a preventative public health measure,” stated Cindy Russell, MD of Physicians For Safe Technology and author of “Wi-Fi in Schools” and  “A 5G Wireless Future: Will It Give Us a Smart Nation or Contribute to An Unhealthy One?”.

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences webcast of the three-day review will be online within days. The NIEHS meeting webpage with powerpoint slide presentations is here.


On  March 26-28, 2018 the NTP expert peer review panel recommended the following actions related to the strength of confidence in the association between the finding and the exposure- NTP’s scale of clear evidence, some evidence, equivocal evidence, and no evidence. For seven cancer endpoints, the peer review recommendations were to increase the level of evidence (noted with a *) They recommended the following strength of evidence classifications  after a review of the study findings.


Clear Evidence of Carcinogenic Activity

  • *Increases in malignant schwannoma in the heart in male rats (GSM and CDMA)  –  clear evidence of carcinogenic activity

Some Evidence of Carcinogenic Activity: The strength of the response is less than that required for clear evidence but is enough to consider it an association. 

  • * malignant glioma in the brain in male rats (GSM and CDMA) – some evidence of carcinogenic activity
  • *Increases in pheochromocytoma (benign, malignant, or complex combined) in the adrenal medulla male rats (GSM) – some evidence of carcinogenic activity

Equivocal Evidence of Carcinogenic Activity: A marginal increase of neoplasms that may be related to the exposure.

  • Increases in adenoma or carcinoma (combined) in the prostate gland in male rats (GSM and CDMA) – equivocal evidence of carcinogenic activity
  • Increases in benign or malignant granular cell tumors in the brain in male rats (GSM) equivocal evidence of carcinogenic activity
  • Increases in adenoma in the pars distalis of the pituitary gland in male rats exposed to both GSM and CDMA – equivocal evidence of carcinogenic activity
  • Increases in  adenoma in the pars distalis of the pituitary gland in male rats CDMA – equivocal evidence of carcinogenic activity
  • Increases in pancreatic islet cell adenoma or carcinoma in male rats (GSM) -equivocal evidence of carcinogenic activity
  • * Increases in malignant schwannomas in the heart in female rats GSM and CDMA –equivocal evidence of carcinogenic activity  


  • Increases in malignant glioma in the brain in female CDMA- equivocal evidence of carcinogenic activity


  • Increases in pheochromocytoma (benign, malignant, or complex combined) in the adrenal medulla  in female rats (CDMA) – equivocal evidence of carcinogenic activity

Additional Findings:

  • DNA damage was significantly increased in the frontal cortex of male mice (both modulations GSM and CDMA), peripheral leukocytes of female mice (CDMA only), and hippocampus of male rats (CDMA only). “These results suggest that exposure to RFR has the potential to induce measurable DNA damage under certain exposure conditions,” stated the NTP scientists in this PDF of the Genotoxicity findings.
  • Cardiomyopathy of the right ventricle in both male and female  exposed animals in both CDMA and GSM.
  • Increases in nonneoplastic lesions in the heart, brain, and prostate gland in male rats (GSM and CDMA).
  • Increases in nonneoplastic lesions in the heart, thyroid gland, and adrenal gland in female rats occurred with exposures to GSM.
  • Increases in nonneoplastic lesions of the brain in females exposed to CDMA.

* Peer reviewers increased the level of strength of evidence from the draft report.

Click here to download and share an infographic about cell phone radiation and cancer.

Environmental Health Trust has compiled key documents and resources so you get the information you need about the National Toxicology Program Study findings.

National Toxicology Program Cell Phone Radiation Study Documents

 “NTP cell phone studies — experts recommend elevated conclusions “ NIEHS published article on the “clear evidence” of cancer conclusions of the peer review.

“Statement of the Conclusions of the NIEHS Peer Review” The NIEHS NTP issued this two page document that lists the final conclusions of the peer review panel for each cancer endpoint.

NIEHS NTP Webpage with powerpoints of presentations from the peer review meetings, Website with Submitted Expert Comments

Video by NIEHS of the three day March 26-28 2018 peer review meeting that includes all presentations and comments. 

Youtube Playlist of excerpts from the three day March 26-28 peer review. 

 Full report/presentation by NIEHS on DNA damage found in rats and mice. Note: This information was presented in 2017 at a conference and found via a public information request.

The Peer Review panel  of experts for the NTP technical Report See it here 

Draft Technical Reports NTP Rat Report: Studies of Cell Phone Radiofrequency Radiation (Rats), NTP Mice Report: Studies of Cell Phone Radiofrequency Radiation (Mice)

National Institute of Health Press Materials

2/1/2018 NIEHS Press Release “High Exposure to Radiofrequency Radiation Linked to Tumor Activity in Male Rats”

***Statement on conclusions of the peer review meeting by NIEHS, released after external peer review meeting. 


New Studies Link Cell Phone Radiation with Cancer, Scientific American March 29, 2018

Can cellphones really cause cancer?, Pittsburgh (KDKA)

Findings of cancer in rodents exposed to cell-phone-like radiation draws crowd to RTP, CBS News

Can your cellphone cause cancer? Scientists find definitive link in study of rats” The News and Observer March 28, 2018

“Researchers find the cellphone-cancer risk is higher than originally thought” The Blaze March 30, 2018

The Nation: How Big Wireless Made Us Think That Cell Phones Are Safe: A Special Investigation: The disinformation campaign—and massive radiation increase—behind the 5G rollout. By Mark Hertsgaard and Mark Dowie, The Nation, March 29, 2018

On Point WBUR NPR Interview “Big Tobacco lied about cigarettes. Is Big Wireless lying about cell phones? We’ll look at the cancer-cell phone connection.”

New Study Links Cancer to Cell Phone Use, NBC DFW March 28, 2018

Advocates for Tougher RFR Standards Welcome Expert Views, Paul Kirby, Senior Editor, TRDaily

“We now have the first clear evidence cell phone radiation can cause cancer in rats” Quartz, March 30, 2018

“Is There A Cell Phone Link To Cancer? A Definite Maybe”  Science Friday Radio 7:56 Minute Radio, March 30, 2018

Cell Phone Radiation Linked to Cancer in New Studies, Interesting Engineering, April 1, 2018



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