Brain Tumors Double, Prompt Warning on Cellphones
- May 15, 2018 • 24,661 views
- A recent study revealed a rise in glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive brain tumor, in England from 1995 to 2015
- Incidence rates more than doubled from 2.4 to 5 per 100,000 people during the study period, an increase the study authors say cannot be fully explained by random chance or improvement in diagnostic techniques and is “most likely” due to cellphones
- Two government-funded studies conducted by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) found “clear evidence” that exposure to cellphone radiation led to heart tumors in male rates, along with “some evidence” that it caused brain tumors in rats
- Experts at Italy’s Ramazzini Institute say radiofrequency (RF) radiation from cellphones should probably be classified as a “probable” human carcinogen rather than a “possible” carcinogen
By Dr. Mercola
Worldwide, 5 billion people now have cellphones, which represents about two-thirds of the people on the planet.1 Since their inception, concerns have been raised that holding these radiation-emitting devices so close to our bodies, for so many hours a day, could cause health problems, including cancer. One of the latest studies to date, conducted in England and involving an analysis of more than 79,000 malignant brain tumors, has only added to the accumulating evidence that cellphones may be carcinogenic.
The study, published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health, revealed a rise in glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive brain tumor, in England from 1995 to 2015.2 Incidence rates more than doubled from 2.4 to 5 per 100,000 people during the study period, an increase the study authors say cannot be fully explained by random chance or improvement in diagnostic techniques.
“The percentage rise is similar across the age groups, which suggests widespread environmental or lifestyle factors may be responsible,” according to the researchers, with cellphones being a prime culprit. Other sources of radiation exposure, such as X-rays, CT scans and testing of atomic bombs, were also listed as potential causative factors, but Alasdair Philips, the study’s lead author and a trustee of Children with Cancer UK, told CNN, “ … cellphones seem like really they’re the most likely cause.”3
$25 Million Cellphone Studies Yield ‘Clear’ Evidence of Cancer Link
The finding that glioblastoma multiforme cancers have more than doubled in England in the last two decades — a time when cellphone usage has skyrocketed — comes on the heels of evidence suggesting radiation from cellphones may cause tumors in rats. The findings stem from two government-funded studies conducted by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), an interagency research program currently under the umbrella of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.4
The $25 million research involved both mice and rats, which were exposed to cellphone radiation for nine hours a day for two years — close to average life span for these rodents. Most concerning, male rats were more likely to develop tumors in their heart known as malignant schwannomas, which are, according to The New York Times, “similar to acoustic neuromas, a benign tumor in people involving the nerve that connects the ear to the brain, which some studies have linked to cellphone use.”5
In making their conclusions, NTP uses the labels “clear evidence,” “some evidence,” “equivocal evidence” and “no evidence.” They found “clear evidence” that exposure to cellphone radiation led to heart tumors in the male rates, along with “some evidence” that it caused brain tumors in the rats.6 In addition, a National Institutes of Health (NIH) press release explained:7
“Researchers also noted increases in an unusual pattern of cardiomyopathy, or damage to heart tissue, in exposed male and female rats. … 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.”
Despite this, they deemed the findings equivocal, which means they believed it was unclear whether the increases in tumors were due to the exposure to radiofrequency radiation (RFR), and noted that they used levels and duration of RFR exposure that were much greater than what people would typically be exposed to with cellphone use.
Yet, a lifetime exposure study published by the highly respected Ramazzini Institute in Italy duplicated NTP’s findings, showing a clear link between cellphone radiation and schwannomas — despite using power levels that were up to 1,000 times lower than those used in the NTP studies.8
In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified cellphones as a Group 2B “possible carcinogen,” but the Ramazzini researchers are urging the IARC to re-evaluate this. According to Fiorella Belpoggi, director of research at the Ramazzini Institute and the study’s lead author, radiofrequency (RF) radiation from cellphones should probably be classified as a “probable” human carcinogen rather than a “possible” carcinogen.9
Scientific Advisory Panel Concludes Cellphones May Cause Greater Risk Than Initially Acknowledged
When the NTP studies’ draft report was first released, it was largely downplayed by public health agencies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Cancer Society, which stated the results were inconclusive. A scientific advisory panel, which met to review the research, was expected to greenlight the largely whitewashed conclusions but ended up coming up with a much starker warning that cellphones can be clearly linked to cancer in rats.
One thing that caught the panel’s eye was the type of tumor that occurred in the rats; heart tissue tumors are not only rare in rats but also are the same form of cancer that’s previously been seen in some people who’ve used cellphones at high power settings for years, according to NTP senior scientist John Bucher.10
In addition to finding that exposure to RF from cellphones can cause heart tissue cancer in male rats, the panelists concluded that cellphone radiation may also be linked to brain cancer in rats. Ronald Melnick, a retired NTP scientist who was part of the team that created the study’s design nearly a decade ago, told The News & Observer the findings “should most likely lead to a reduction in exposure limits” and could prompt public officials “not to promote the use of some of these radio-frequency emitting devices for kids.”11
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