National Toxicology Program Finds Cell Phone Radiation Induces DNA Damage


National Toxicology Program Finds Statistically Significant Increased DNA Damage in Rats and Mice

After Exposure to Cell Phone Radiofrequency Radiation 


Scientists from the National Toxicology Program presented their data on the genotoxicity of  cell phone radiation in rats and mice at the annual meeting of the Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society held in Raleigh, North Carolina from September 9-13, 2017.

The poster and abstract states DNA damage was significantly increased in:

  • The frontal cortex of male mice from CDMA and GSM cell phone radiation,
  • Peripheral leukocytes of female mice from CDMA only, and
  • The hippocampus of male rats from CDMA only.

There were no significant increases in micronucleated red blood cells in rats or mice.

The authors concluded that, “exposure to RFR [radio frequency radiation] has the potential to induce measurable DNA damage under certain exposure conditions.”

See the full NIH/NTP poster presentation on DNA Damage here. See a PDF of the abstract on Genotoxicity Evaluation here. See the Meeting webpage for the  Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society. 

Abstract National Toxicology Program Presentation Sept 2017


The study also found carcinogenic effects after long term exposure to cell phone radiation. In 2016 National Toxicology Program scientist released these findings:

  • Increased incidences of glioma (a rare, aggressive and highly malignant brain cancer) as well as schwannoma (a rare tumor of the nerve sheath) of the heart were found in both sexes of rats, but reached statistical significance only in males.
  • Increased incidences of rare, proliferative changes in glial cells of the brain and in Schwann cells (nerve sheath) in the heart of both sexes of rats, while not a single unexposed control animal developed these precancerous changes.
  • Results from this study clearly show that biological impacts occur at non-thermal exposures like those that take place from cell phones today.

Read more about the National Toxicology Program Study here

Evaluation of the Genotoxicity of Cell Phone Radiofrequency Radiation in Male and Female Rats and Mice Following Subchronic Exposure.

Smith-Roe SL1, Wyde ME1, Stout MD1, Winters JW2, Hobbs CA2, Shepard KG2, Green AS2, Kissling GA1, Tice RR1, Bucher JR1, Witt KL1

1NIEHS/NIH, Research Triangle Park, NC, United States

2Integrated Laboratory Systems, Inc., Research Triangle Park, NC, United States.

The National Toxicology Program tested the two common radiofrequency radiation (RFR) modulations emitted by cellular telephones in a 2-year rodent cancer bioassay that included additional animal cohorts for interim assessments of genotoxicity endpoints. Male and female Sprague Dawley rats and B6C3F1/N mice were exposed from gestation day 5 or postnatal day 35, respectively, to code division multiple access (CDMA) or global system for mobile (GSM) modulations semi-continuously at 18 h/day in 10 min intervals in reverberation chambers at specific absorption rates (SAR) of 1.5, 3, or 6 W/kg (rats) or 2.5, 5, or 10 W/kg (mice) Rats and mice were exposed at 900 MHz or 1900 MHz, respectively. The interim cohorts, 5 animals per treatment group, were examined after 19 (rats) or 13 (mice) weeks of exposure for evidence of RFR-induced genotoxicity. DNA damage was assessed in three brain regions (frontal cortex, hippocampus, and cerebellum), and in liver cells and blood leukocytes using the comet assay. Chromosomal damage was assessed in peripheral blood erythrocytes using the micronucleus assay. DNA damage was significantly increased in the frontal corte of male mice (both modulations), peripheral leukocytes of female mice (CDMA only), and hippocampus of male rats (CDMA only). DNA damage was nominally elevated in several other tissues of RFR-exposed rats, although statistical significance was not achieved. No significant increased in micronucleated red blood cells were observed in rats or mice. These results suggest that exposure to RFR has the potential to induce measurable DNA damage under certain exposure conditions.

Watch a video interview with Ronald L Melnick, PhD. who  lead the design of the 25 Million NTP/NIEHS Rodent Study.

Watch a June 2016  Presentation of the U.S. National Toxicology Program Presentation below.


Listen to a press conference with Ronald L Melnick, PhD. who  lead the design of the 25 Million NTP/NIEHS Rodent Study and will discuss how the study was carefully developed to test for a carcinogenic effect from cell phone radiation.


NTP Report of Partial findings from the NTP Carcinogenesis Studies of Cell Phone Radiofrequency

NTP Press Release: NTP Cell Phone Radiofrequency Radiation Study: Partial Release of Findings

NTP/NIEHS Webpage on Cell Phones

Video of Presentation by NTP at NIEHS June 2016 on the Study Findings

Powerpoint Slides by Dr. Birnbaum, Director of the National Toxicology Program



Wall Street Journal: Debate Renews Over Health Risks from Cell Phone Use

Wall Street Street Journal: Cell Phone Study Fans Cancer Worries

Consumer Reports: Does Cell Phone Use Cause Brain Cancer? What the New Study Means For You

Science Magazine: Questions abound after study links tumors to cellphone radiation

PBS: How Might Cell Phone Signals Cause Cancer May 30, 2016

PBS: Major U.S. study links cellphone exposure to cancer in rats

Scientific American: Major Cell Phone Radiation Study Reignites Cancer Questions: Exposure to radiofrequency radiation linked to tumor formation in rats



American Cancer Society Press Release: New Study Linking Cell Phone Radiation to Cancer

American Academy of Pediatrics Responds to National Toxicology Program  study


BERENIS – Swiss expert group on electromagnetic fields and non-ionising radiation, September 2016 Newsletter Review of the NTP Study

Dr. Eitan Kerem, Chair of Pediatrics at Hadassah Hebrew University Hospital


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