Monday , March 27 2023

Cross talk: Federal agencies are clashing with the risk of cancer on mobile phones


Matt Rourke

DATOTEKI – This Thursday, October 11, 2012, a photo of a singer talking on a cell phone silhouetted in front of a fountain in Philadelphia. Two US government agencies provide a controversial interpretation of a safety study on the radiation of mobile phones: One says it causes rat cancer. The other says there is no reason for people to worry. (AP Photo / Matt Rourke)

VASHINGTON – Two government agencies in the United States provide conflicting interpretations of a safety study on the radiation of mobile phones: One says it causes cancer in rats. The other says there is no reason for people to worry.

No new research was released on Thursday. Instead, the National Toxicology Program chose its concern about the relationship between heart and brain cancer from the study of male rats published last winter.

The Food and Drug Administration, which oversees the security of mobile phones, did not agree with an upgraded alert. And these findings should not be applied to the use of human cell phones, "Dr. Jeffrei Shuren, Head of FDA Radiology.

What is most important is what happens to people, not rats, Dr. Otis Bravlei, the chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society.

"The incidence of brain tumors in human beings has been flat in the last 40 years," Bravlay said. "It's absolutely the most important scientific fact."


In a $ 30 million study, scientists placed rats and mice in separate chambers and bombarded them with radio frequency waves, such as those emitted from older 2G and 3G phones, nine hours a day to two years, most of their natural lives.

Levels experienced by rodents were much higher than people were usually exposed.


Last February, the National Toxicology Program said it was a small type of unusual type of cardiac tumor in male rats, but not in mice or female rats. The agency concluded that there were "some evidence" of the link. Also, the February report cites "ambiguous evidence" of brain tumors in male rats.

On Thursday, the agency upgraded the description of these findings. The tumor of the heart has marked "clear evidence" of cancer in male rats, it was announced. There are "some evidence" of brain cancer.

The change came after the agency asked outside the experts to analyze the findings.

"We believe the link between radiofrequency radiation and tumor in male rats is real, and external experts have agreed," said John Bucher, a senior scientist in the toxicology agency.

While his agency said that the risks for rats are not directly related to humans, the study raises questions about safety.


The FDA immediately disagrees, shouting from a press release, convinced Americans that the "decades of research and hundreds of studies" made the health agency convinced that the existing safety margins for mobile phone radiation protect public health.

Plus, the FDA highlighted confusing findings from a rodent study – such as radiating rats living longer than comparing rats that were not exposed to air. The Toxicology Agency said it appeared that radiofrequency energy helped the kidneys of older rats.

There is a reason why two different government agencies are confronting – they ask different questions, said George Grai, George Washington professor of public health.

Former scientific head for the Environmental Protection Agency, Grey said that the toxicology program examined how mobile phone radiation was affecting the animals. Looking at what this means for people, the FDA "brings more sources of information and data than just these recent tests in rats and mice," he said in an email.


"I'm calling you from my cell phone," Bravle's cancer association noticed.

He pointed out a known risk of mobile phones: The car collapses when drivers are deterred by them.

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As for cancer, if people are worried, they could use headphones or speakers, he said.

Those who study the risk do not descend.

"My family and I will not change our habits on mobile phones based on this news," said George Washington, Grey, co-author of the book "Risk: A Practical Guide to Deciding on Things That Are Really Safe and Really Dangerous In The World around you. "


The Associated Press Department of Health and Science is supported by the Department of Scientific Education Hovard Hughes. AP is solely responsible for all content.

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