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Cellphone gives you cancer afterall...

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Cellphone gives you cancer afterall...

Postby hansioux » 27 Jul 2016, 16:53

The published paper: 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)
http://biorxiv.org/content/early/2016/06/23/055699

So, this study by the National Toxicology Program, which is the US government, finds that exposure to cellphone radiation causes a higher tumor rate in rats.

Articles and related interviews:
http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/results/areas/ ... index.html
http://www.niehs.nih.gov/news/newsroom/ ... ellphones/

The funny thing is that cellphone radiation seems to cause a slightly higher tumor rate in male rats, but not in female rats....

The nomination for NTP to study cell phone radiofrequency radiation was made by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

These are the largest, most complex studies ever conducted by NTP.

For the studies, rats and mice were exposed to frequencies and modulations currently used in cellular communications in the United States. The rodents were exposed for 10-minute on, 10-minute off increments, totaling just over 9 hours a day from before birth through 2 years of age.

NTP found low incidences of tumors in the brains and hearts of male rats, but not in female rats. Studies in mice are continuing.

NTP has provided these findings to its federal regulatory partners to enable them to have the latest information for public health guidance about safe ways to use cellular telephones and other radiofrequency radiation emitting devices.

The complete results from all the rat and mice studies will be available for peer review and public comment by the end of 2017.

Previous human, observational data collected in earlier, large-scale population-based studies have found limited evidence of an increased risk for developing cancer from cell phone use.

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. ‎
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Re: Cellphone gives you cancer afterall...

Postby Ricarte » 28 Jul 2016, 11:18

hansioux wrote:The funny thing is that cellphone radiation seems to cause a slightly higher tumor rate in male rats, but not in female rats....

Now I'm afraid of keeping the phone in my front pocket... :eek:

[...] using speaker mode or a headset to place more distance between one’s head and the cell phone. ‎

So, we have to choose between cellphone radiation and bluetooth radiation? :ponder:
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Re: Cellphone gives you cancer afterall...

Postby finley » 28 Jul 2016, 12:07

Nevermind cancer. Cellphones turn you into a zombie. Which is worse? :D

It's interesting, but I'm going to pick holes in the study because the results are quite surprising. I'm not going to say wrong - results are what they are - but it's possible they're not measuring what they think they're measuring.

Sprague-Dawley rats were housed in custom-designed reverberation chambers

Why? Nobody lives in a "reverberation chamber" or goes into one to operate a cellphone. The test model should approximate normal usage conditions as closely as possible.

Actually, it becomes clear why they've done this: they monitor RF power as absorbed power rather than radiated power, so they have to make sure that a known amount of energy is absorbed. While I can see the logic in this, it's so different to what happens in real life that it may induce effects that would not normally occur. The 6 W/kg level is at least 5x higher than everyday exposure. No harm in measuring what happens (unless you're a lab rat) but the results, as they say, should be treated with caution.

All RF exposures were conducted over a period of approximately 18 hours using a continuous cycle of 10 minutes on (exposed) and 10 minutes off (not exposed), for a total daily exposure time of approximately 9 hours a day, 7 days/week.

This never happens, to anybody. Not even close. Again, we can see why they've done it - they wanted to get some sort of outcome within a reasonable timeframe, and rats don't live long anyway. But with both ionizing and non-ionizing radiation, timescales matter. If I zap my hand in a microwave oven for 50 milliseconds at a time once a month for ten years, I'll probably be just fine; the hand will repair whatever (minor) damage occurs. If I zap my hand for 6 seconds, once, I will probably cause irreparable damage to nerves and muscles.

You can actually get a very accurate estimate of exposure from modern smartphones: they all have power-usage monitors that tell you how much of the battery capacity has been used for screen, CPU, RF subsystem, etc. If you know the battery capacity, radiation efficiency, RF poweramp usage time, and typical recharge interval, you know the average RF energy being radiated and can estimate absorption using models. With the call log, you can estimate peak radiation. Emulating typical usage patterns would be more useful, IMO, rather than using very high exposure levels to force a positive result.

Throughout the remainder of the chronic study, no RFR exposure-related effects on body weights were observed in male and female rats exposed to RFR, regardless of modulation (Figures 1 and 2). At the end of the 2-year study, survival was lower in the control group of males than in all groups of male rats exposed to GSM-modulated RFR (Figure 3). Survival was also slightly lower in control females than in females exposed to 1.5 or 6 W/kg GSM-modulated RFR. In rats exposed to CDMA-modulated RFR, survival was higher in all groups of exposed males and in the 6 W/kg females compared to controls (Figure 4)

So, um, data does not support conclusions? :eh:

If you look at the "cancer" results, the incidence is so low (1-3 rats out of P=90) that it could not be described as statistically significant - even if, mathematically speaking, some of the observations reach the p<0.05 threshold. Remember, that 0.05 magic number is literally plucked out of the air; it's convention, nothing more. This is real borderline stuff: the authors point out that some of the results are significant and some are not. The fact that these rats all survived longer than controls suggests a statistical anomaly. Doesn't mean the effect doesn't exist - simply that there weren't enough test subjects to be sure either way.

Finally, there is no theoretical reason why low-level RF should cause cancer. Again, that's not to say the results are illusory, but without such a model there's no obvious direction for future research.

I'm not picking fault with the authors here, incidentally. They are scrupulously honest about their method and results in this paper, and they provide an excellent analysis of the stats. It's a very good paper. One just gets the impression they've been told to slant the conclusion in a preferred direction.
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Re: Cellphone gives you cancer afterall...

Postby Ricarte » 29 Jul 2016, 11:07

Well done, finley! :bravo:

This reminds me of a video from Veritassium, discussing exactly the same topic.



One interesting point is that, if cellphone use and brain tumors were related, we would see an increase in number of cases due to the the increase of cellphone usage. And that is not happening.
So, either there are no relation between both or the increase in risk is very small.
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