For many years there’s been a raging debate about the health impact of microwave radiation emitted by cell phones. This evening, the National Toxicology Program released a draft of the report on its two-year cell phone cancer study.
Linda Birnbaum, the director of the NIEHS, and John Bucher, the leader of the study, will present the report at a teleconference tomorrow, Friday. They are the director and associate director of the NTP, respectively. [Birnbaum did not speak at the press conference. Bucher was accompanied by Michael Wyde, who ran the study, though he only made one comment during the hour-long telephone briefing.]
The report that was posted only covers rats. The accompanying study of mice found no effects on cancer.
The abstract of the report states:
“The US National Toxicology Program (NTP) has carried out extensive rodent toxicology and carcinogenesis studies of radiofrequency radiation (RFR) at frequencies and modulations used in the US telecommunications industry. This report presents partial findings from these studies. The occurrences of two tumor types in male Harlan Sprague Dawley rats exposed to RFR, malignant gliomas in the brain and schwannomas of the heart, were considered of particular interest, and are the subject of this report. The findings in this report were reviewed by expert peer reviewers selected by the NTP and National Institutes of Health (NIH). These reviews and responses to comments are included as appendices to this report, and revisions to the current document have incorporated and addressed these comments. Supplemental information in the form of 4 additional manuscripts has or will soon be submitted for publication.
These manuscripts describe in detail the designs and performance of the RFR exposure system, the dosimetry of RFR exposures in rats and mice, the results to a series of pilot studies establishing the ability of the animals to thermoregulate during RFR exposures, and studies of DNA damage. Capstick et al., “A radiofrequency radiation reverberation chamber exposure system for rodents”; Yijian et al., “Life time dosimetric assessment for mice and rats exposed to cell phone radiation”; Wyde et al., Pilot studies of the National Toxicology Program’s cell phone radiofrequency radiation reverberation chamber exposure system”; Smith-Roe et al, “Evaluation of the genotoxicity of cell phone radiofrequency radiation in male and female rats and mice following subchronic exposure.”
The Microwave News story on what the NTP rat experiment shows is here.
Some early coverage on Friday morning in Wall Street Journal, Mother Jones, Scientific American and Consumer Reports.