“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.
RECOMMENDATIONS OF CLASSIFICATION OF CANCERS AND PRE CANCERS in NTP STUDY
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
- 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.
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
National Institute of Health Press Materials
2/1/2018 NIEHS Press Release “High Exposure to Radiofrequency Radiation Linked to Tumor Activity in Male Rats”
New Studies Link Cell Phone Radiation with Cancer, Scientific American March 29, 2018
“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
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
$25 Million US Government Study Finds Increased Cancer in Rats From Cell Phone Radiation
Microwave News first broke the story that the long awaited National Toxicology Program’s radiofrequency radiation research study results showed increased brain and heart tumors in rats after two years exposure to wireless radiation.
Summary of the Radiofrequency Carcinogenicity Research Study
U.S. National Toxicology Program of the U.S. National Institutes of Health
The U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP), released a partial report on parts of the world’s largest, most thorough and well-designed study of its type – at a cost of $25 million – on the potential carcinogenicity of cell phone radiofrequency radiation in rats and mice.
What did the study find?
The study found adverse effects after long term exposure to cell phone radiation:
- 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.
- DNA damage was induced with both modulations of radiofrequency radiation (RFR) in both rats and mice (mixed results in tissues and brain regions).
- Results from this study clearly show that biological impacts occur at non-thermal exposures like those that take place from cell phones today.
Data analyses in mice are ongoing. The complete results from these rodent studies will be available in NTP Technical Reports by the end of 2017.
The National Toxicology Program has posted an online draft of these research results.
Click here for PDF “Report of Partial findings from the National Toxicology Program Carcinogenesis Studies of Cell Phone Radiofrequency Radiation in Hsd: Sprague Dawley® SD rats (Whole Body Exposure)”
Chris Portier former Head of the National Toxicology Program stated, “ this is the best designed animal study every conducted on this topic.” Ron Melnick, who led the NTP study design team, confirmed these leaked results to Microwave News stating, “The experiment has been done and, after extensive reviews, the consensus is that there was a carcinogenic effect.”
Wall Street Journal Interview with journalist Ryan Knutson
This study represents a “sea change” in science in that it is a well designed study providing hard evidence that that non-ionizing, radiofrequency radiation could cause cancer.
This study indicates that exposures to “weak” levels of radio-frequency radiation can have a significant impact. If wireless frequencies were “safe” and had “no impact on the body”, one would not see such results.
For decades the scientific understanding has been that the only way this radiation can harm us is by a heating mechanism via exposures at very high power levels. This research shows serious adverse effects without heating tissue. The study was carefully designed to ensure that the body temperature of the exposed rats increased less than 1ºC . Therefore, it substantiates the scientific understanding that heating is NOT the only mechanism by which this radiation could harm health.
“This study should put an end to those who doubt the capacity of non-thermal levels of wireless radiation to cause biological effects including cancer. The study results clearly show that cell phone radiation can cause adverse health effects. The counter argument has no validity.” -Ronald Melnick, PhD, former lead scientist on NTP study of RFR; Retired Senior Scientist with NTP/NIEHS
The NTP Study found increases in brain and heart tumors after chronic exposure to radiofrequency radiation (RFR).
In male Harlan Sprague Dawley rats exposed to chronic RFR, malignant gliomas in the brain and schwannomas of the heart were increased. “Cardiac schwannomas were observed in male rats in all exposed groups of both GSM- and 18 CDMA-modulated RFR, while none were observed in controls (Table 3). There also was a significant dose response relationship, meaning that as the radiation increased, the effect increased. In female rats, there was no statistically significant or apparent exposure-related effects.
As the American Cancer Society states in their statement about the NTP results, “It’s important to note that these sorts of gender differences often appear in carcinogenic studies, so the fact they show up here should not detract from the importance of the findings.” Read more about these gender differences in the published “Gender differences in chemical carcinogenesis in National Toxicology Program 2-year bioassays” which details how gender-specific tumors were common in rat research on carcinogens.
NTP findings also included reduced birth weight of exposed pups, increased survival in exposed rats, and sight Increased malignant glioma plus glial cell hyperplasia (precancerous cells of the brain). It is notable that in the Ramazzini study of rats that looked at extremely low frequency (50 Hz) ELF-EMFs, the exposed rats also developed a significant increase in malignant schwannoma of the heart.
The increased types of tumors found in NTP”s research rats parallel the types of increased tumors found in human long term users of cell phones.
In the May 27, 2016 press conference the NTP stated one of the reasons that they were releasing these findings was because the NTP research results showed effects similar to human epidemiological research. Research on humans repeatedly shows increased malignant glioma (a type of brain cancer) in people who used cell phones for over ten years and over 1625 hours of lifetime use. The male rats in the NTP study had significantly increased rates of brain gliomas.
In addition, cardiac schwannomas (a type of tumor) were observed in male rats in all exposed groups in the NTP study. The NTP study found the highest rate of this rare tumor of the nerve ever recorded so far in its more than 30 years of study. Schwannomas interfere with myelin, the fatty protective sheath that surrounds all neurons. Although the NTP study found heart schwannomas in rats, the most common type of benign schwannoma in humans is the acoustic neuroma. Epidemiological research on human cell phone users has found increased acoustic neuroma in long term users.
This similarity between the findings of epidemiological studies and the NTP animal studies adds a strength to the conclusions of the NTP study.
Scientists state this research should result in official recommendations to the public by federal agencies to reduce exposure.
“Based on this new information, regulatory agencies should make strong recommendations for consumers to take precautionary measures and avoid close contact with their cell phones, and especially avoid use of cell phones by children. Also, cell phone companies need to provide newer devices with much reduced emissions.” -Ronald Melnick, PhD, former lead scientist on NTP study of RFR; Retired Senior Scientist with NTP/NIEHS
The newly created National Toxicology Webpage on Cell Phones states “The FDA’s website provides a couple of steps people can take to minimize radiation exposure when using cell phones, including reducing the amount of time spent using a cell phone and using speaker mode or a headset to place more distance between one’s head and the cell phone.”
Watch the Reuters video below
The NIH Cell Phone Radiofrequency Radiation Study research is the world’s largest rodent study on radiofrequency radiation exposure to date.
This 25 million dollar study is the most complex study completed by the NTP. Exposures to rats began in-utero (meaning while the mother rats are pregnant). The exposures to mice start during adolescence and continued through young adulthood (subchronic) or for 2 years (chronic).
The radiation exposures are at very low levels similar to what people are exposed to by cellular technology.
The studies are designed to mimic human exposure to cell phones. The exposures are at nonthermal levels meaning radiation levels that do not cause heating. These exposures are well below what our current government regulations allow.
The frequencies being studied are already outdated.
Rats and mice are being exposed to radiofrequency radiation from the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) and Global System for Mobile (GSM) communications technologies, at frequencies of 900 and 1900 megahertz at three different levels: 1.5, 3 and 6 watts per kilogram.At the time the research was initiated, these frequencies and modulations were the most common in the United States. That has changed. Now higher frequencies like 4G and 5G are becoming widespread (Notice how many communities are getting cell towers in order to deploy LTE.) Wi-Fi is at 2.45 GHz. Some scientists think these higher frequencies may be more biologically active even at very low levels. However, if adverse effects are found in one specific radio frequency (RF) radiation frequency, it is scientifically understood that adverse effects will also be found in frequencies within the full range of RF.
The studies consider cancer risk and other health effects.
Special underground chambers were built for this research.
Twenty-one separate “reverberation chambers” were built. The chambers are essentially shielded rooms with a transmitting antenna emitting radiofrequency fields and rotating stirrers. This setup up helps to generate a statistically uniform field.
The rodents were “chronically exposed,” meaning exposed for many hours per day.
The reverberation chamber design exposed rodents to RF for 10-minute on, 10-minute off increments, totaling just over 9 hours a day from before birth through 2 years of age. Unfortunately, this may not adequately simulate real life exposure in the 21st century. Today we are exposed to these frequencies 24 hours per day. From the baby monitor near the crib to the cell phone in our bedrooms to the Wi-Fi at school and work, there is no time when we are without exposures. In addition real life exposures means exposures to several frequencies at once, not simply one frequency at a time.
The study was released years behind schedule.
The Cell Phone Radiofrequency Radiation Study was initiated in 1999 with a contract signed in 2005. It is EHT’s understanding that the research has been completed but the data and results have not been published. The results were due to be published in 2014. In April 2016 Dr. Davis wrote a letter to NIEHS asking for the results of the study to be released. The draft report was released in May 2016.
2009 Slideshow Presentation of the Research
The slideshow here was prepared for the Cell Phone Radiation and Health Congressional Hearing in 2009. The slideshow shows the special underground chambers (housing) created for the rats and mice and details the planned research study.
2013 Slideshow by the National Toxicology Program at the GLORE Conference
NIEHS’ Michael Wyde presented an update on the study in a slideshow at a by-invitation-only meeting in the 2013 annual meeting of the Global Coordination of Research and Health on RF Electromagnetic Fields at the Washington DC FCC offices. The public and the press were barred from the meeting, while representatives from Motorola and Orange (formerly France Telecom) were allowed to attend (see program here).
It is notable that in this slideshow Wyde shares that rats in the subchronic studies did respond to both GSM and CDMA cell phone radiation. Those exposed before and after birth gained weight more slowly and the response was dose-dependent. This result challenges the widely-held belief that wireless radiation is harmless.
Please watch the videos below of NIH lead investigator Michael Wyde Ph.D., D.A.B.T. describing the National Toxicology Program Radiofrequency Research Study in a 2009 lecture presentation. According to NIH, the slides he refers to in this 2009 talk are the same set as uploaded onto this page as the 2009 NTP Presentation.
Please learn more about this project by reading an update from Microwave News. Institute of Environmental Health Secrets: NIEHS Mum on $25 Million RF Animal Project Skirts Freedom of Information Act
NEWS COVERAGE OF NTP MAY 2016 RESEARCH RESULTS
NTP Statement to Congress in 2009 on Cell Phone Studies: Statement for the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Committee on Appropriations United States Senate September 14, 2009 Hearing on The Health Effects of Cell Phone Use Statement of John R. Bucher, Ph.D. Associate Director of the National Toxicology Program National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences National Institutes of Health U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Watch the full testimony by the National Toxicology Program to Congress in 2009 in the video below starting at minute 8:43.