Cellphone Radiation and Cancer Risk Facts
The gadget that has become an inseparable part of our daily lives could be one causing cancer. In the U.S. alone, 90% of the population owns a cell phone. But, how much is it safe?
According to a study conducted by researchers from the National Toxicology Program (NTP), there could be a link between cancer and chronic exposure to the types of radiation emitted from cell phones and other electronic devices. Namely, the researcher had rodents exposed to electromagnetic radiation starting in utero. Eventually it was shown that this exposure is linked to the formation of rare cancers in at least two cell types, in the brain and hearts of rats.
The primer goal of the study was to determine whether there is a cancer risk for humans when they use cell phones and other similar electronic devices. The findings shocked some scientists who had been closely tracking the study.
The study seemed to prove different results when compared to various other studies on the same subject matter. The only difference was the significant amount of time in which this study was conducted, opposed to the rest of the studies.
The research team from the National Toxicology Program exposed rodents to carefully calibrated radio-frequency (RF) radiation levels designed to simulate what humans with heavy cell phone use or exposure could theoretically experience in their daily lives.
The rats were put in built chambers that doused their whole bodies with varying amounts and types of this radiation for approximately nine hours per day throughout their two-year life spans. The reason why their whole bodies were exposed is because humans are exposed to such radiation beyond their heads, especially when they carry or store their electronic devices on their bodies. During the trials, the rats weren’t deprived from food, sleep, or freedom to move around the cages.
The process was quite complicated. The scientists had to calculate precisely how much the rats should be exposed to, relative to humans. Too much or too little would prove ineffect for human comparison.
It was discovered that as the radiation exposure was increased, more rats developed rare forms of brain and heart cancers. The rats exhibited a direct dose–response relationship. Even though the frequency of these rare tumors was still relatively low, this would be expected with rare tumors in general, the occurrences grew with greater levels of exposure.
Is there reason to be worried? Yes. Still, this study raises other questions that are yet to be answered. All you need to do is limit the usage of your cell phone and other electronic exposure whenever possible.
It is important to mention that previous human observational data collected in large-scale population-based studies found limited evidence of an increased risk of developing cancer from cell phone use.
“We are aware that the National Toxicology Program is studying this important issue. Scientific evidence always informs FCC rules on this matter. We will continue to follow all recommendations from federal health and safety experts including whether the FCC should modify its current policies and RF exposure limits in electronic devices” stated the Federal Communications Commission for Scientific American.
To lower the exposure, you should:
- Use a speakerphone
- Keep your phone on your desk instead of on the body
- Similarly, keep your phone in a purse, or day bag instead of a pocket
- Use a wired headset whenever possible
- Don’t fall asleep next to your gadget