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02/06/2019 / By Isabelle Z.
What have you been giving up to avoid cancer? Most people who are hoping to reduce their odds of developing this devastating illness wouldn’t dream of smoking a cigarette, for example, yet few think twice about having their cellphone either glued to their hand or tucked in their pocket all day. Unfortunately, this could prove to be a deadly oversight as more evidence emerges of the carcinogenic potential of cellphone radiation.
In 2011, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified cellphones as a “possible carcinogen” with little fanfare. Of course, well-funded smartphone manufacturers made sure this story didn’t get the attention it deserved. The classification was made by the group, who is considered the gold standard when it comes to toxin classifications, based on evidence that shows electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation from the phones can spur tumors and abnormal cell growth.
Now, they may give it an even more serious categorization as the findings of a pair of government-funded studies show that cellphone radiation is far worse than originally believed.
The preliminary findings of the studies, which were carried out by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences’ National Toxicology Program (NTP), were concerning, but the peer review of those findings significantly upgraded the risk.
The NTP uses four categories to rank the evidence of harm, ranging from most dangerous to least: clear evidence, some evidence, equivocal evidence, and no evidence. The study found clear evidence that male rats suffered from heart tumors upon exposure that were similar to tumors that have already been linked to cellphone use in the past.
Moreover, there was some evidence of brain tumors in male rats, with precancerous lesion indications starting to develop just 58 weeks after exposure. There was also some evidence of adrenal gland tumors.
In addition, the studies found that female rats and their newborns who had been exposed to higher levels of radiation during pregnancy and lactation had a lower body weight. They also found liver, pancreatic and prostate tumors in rats and mice, while rats of both genders suffered damage to their DNA and heart tissue.
Some have criticized the findings because the exposure used in the studies was nine hours per day for two years, which they say is excessive, but how many people these days – especially younger people – leave their phones on very close to their bodies around the clock?
It’s important to keep in mind that we are also exposed to other sources of radiofrequency EMFs in our daily lives, and the effects are cumulative. With computers, cordless phones, smart meters, smart appliances, baby monitors, and tablets with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, the odds are very much stacked against many of us.
Interestingly, reporters did not get very much notice of the NTP’s teleconference on the report’s release, with many editors simply not having enough time to assign reporters to cover the story. This was awfully convenient for smartphone makers and telecommunication firms. Just one reporter, The New York Times’ William Broad, was given a heads up. Broad and his paper are known for downplaying electromagnetic radiation dangers, and his piece on the report was typically soft and full of qualifiers.
The New York Times piece also plays down the results by saying they used 2G technology, which is not used as much as 3G and 4G these days. However, the truth is that German studies have shown that 3G signals enhance tumor growth, and experts have expressed serious reservations about the effects that up-and-coming 5G technology will have on human health given the fact that it’s much stronger.
In addition to raising your cancer risk, cellphone radiation has been shown to contribute to dementia, depression, and anxiety, so it’s no wonder we’re seeing more of these illnesses lately. We are only just beginning to understand the long-term damage this type of radiation will cause.
Sources for this article include: