A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

NIEHS: Microwave News Article Archive (2004 - )

April 9, 2018

“You had it right the first time.” That was the implicit message to the National Toxicology Program (NTP) from an expert panel after a point-by-point review of NTP’s draft reports on its $25 million study of cancer risks of cell phone radiation in mice and rats.

Two years ago, with the results in hand, the NTP rushed to warn the public about the dangers of cell phones. It issued an interim report pointing to higher rates of tumors in the hearts and brains of male rats exposed to two different kinds of phone radiation. Then early this February with the release of the formal draft reports, the NTP made a U-turn, saying that using a cell phone “is not a high-risk situation.”

Now a peer review panel —11 pathologists and toxicologists from academia and industry and one statistician— has concluded that there is “clear evidence of carcinogenic activity” in those male rats.

February 20, 2018

It’s happened again.

A second large study has found tumors in the Schwann cells —schwannomas— in the hearts of male rats exposed to cell phone radiation.

The new finding comes from the Ramazzini Institute in Bologna, Italy.

The malignant schwannomas of the heart seen in the Italian study are the same as those described by the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP) earlier this month as the basis for their concern that cell phone radiation, both GSM and CDMA, can lead to cancer.

February 7, 2018

Why was the NTP so ambivalent about its cell phone cancer findings at the press conference last Friday when two years ago the same scientific evidence prompted a public health warning?

Some of the pathology numbers got tweaked since they were first released in 2016, but the changes were minor. It’s the same data set —but with a very different interpretation. The NTP mindset somehow shifted from we need to release this important new health data now to this is “not a high-risk situation.”

Who or what moved the NTP managers to change their outlook? There’s no shortage of suspects and suspicions.

February 2, 2018

Here are four key takeaways from the NTP press conference held this afternoon, soon after the release of its two cell phone reports:

1. NTP’s bottom line on cell phone use: “This is not a high-risk situation.”

2. RF radiation has biological effects at levels previously believed to be innocuous —they may be good or bad.

3. NTP will continue to do RF health studies. A new exposure facility is being...

January 29, 2018

The NTP has released two reports on the cancer risks from cell phone radiation (GSM and CDMA) on rats and mice. They are available here.

The NTP press release, “High Exposure to RF Radiation Linked to Tumor Activity in Male Rats” is here.

January 29, 12018

The National Toxicology Program (NTP) has announced that the draft reports...

August 30, 2017

The National Toxicology Program (NTP) will release the “complete results” of its $25 million project on cell phone cancer risks early next year, according to a statement posted on its Web site yesterday.

“The complete results from all the rats and mice studies will be available for peer review and public comment by early 2018,” the NTP states. The animals were exposed to GSM or CDMA radiation for two years before they were sacrificed...

March 21, 2017

The National Toxicology Program (NTP) has changed course and will not —at least for the time being— publish its findings of increased DNA breaks among rats exposed to cell phone radiation as a stand-alone paper.

The DNA study, which is part of NTP’s landmark experiment showing that RF radiation can lead to tumors in the brains and hearts of laboratory animals, will now be incorporated in NTP’s Technical Report on the $25 million project, the NTP has told Microwave News.

September 6, 2016

In May, the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP) announced that male rats exposed to cell phone radiation developed higher rates of cancer. Soon, the NTP will explain how that might have happened.

The same RF/microwave radiation that led male rats to develop brain tumors also caused DNA breaks in their brains. Female rats —which did not have significant elevated tumor counts— had fewer DNA breaks.

All these findings are part of the same $25 million NTP project.

The NTP results provide “strong evidence for the genotoxicity of cell phone radiation,” Ron Melnick told Microwave News.

September 3, 2016

Also here. Mostly Michael Wyde’s talk with important comments by NTP Director Linda Birnbaum and Associate Director John Bucher. Birnbaum calls the link between RF and Schwannomas of the heart “unequivocally clear” (@43:20-minute mark). A few minutes later, she describes it as having a “beautiful dose-relationship.” Bucher talks about the continuity in the spectrum between hyperplasia and glioma.

June 10, 2016

On May 31, the New York Times ran a piece in what it calls “The Upshot” on the National Toxicology Program’s (NTP) cell phone animal study. The column is a regular feature in the Times that seeks to give readers context for stories in the news. This one was titled “Why It’s Not Time to Panic About Cell Phones and Cancer.” It was written by Aaron Carroll, a pediatrician at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

Carroll outlined reasons for his skepticism over the cancer results, calling the $25 million NTP study “imperfect.” This prompted a response from Ron Melnick, who led the study’s design team before he retired in 2009. In an eight-point rebuttal, Melnick corrected what he called “numerous and misleading statements.” The full text of his letter is reprinted below.

June 1, 2016

One common criticism of the new NTP cell phone cancer study is that, unlike the male rats, there was no significant increase in tumors among female rats.

For instance in its latest assault on the NTP results, the New York Times is running a comment by a pediatrics professor in Indiana, in which he states:

“It’s also odd that...

May 31, 2016

Senior managers at the National Toxicology Program (NTP) released the preliminary results of their cell phone radiation study late last week. They were so concerned about the elevated rates of two types of cancer among exposed rats that they felt an immediate public alert was warranted. They considered it unwise to wait for the results to wend their way into a journal sometime next year. Not surprisingly, the NTP report generated worldwide media attention.

There were some startling reactions. Both the American Cancer Society (ACS) and Consumer Reports immediately shelved their long-held, wait-and-see positions. In a statement issued soon after the NTP’s press conference, Otis Brawley, ACS’ chief medical officer, called the NTP report “good science.” Consumer Reports said that the new study was “groundbreaking” and encouraged people to take simple precautions to limit their exposures.

However, much of the mainstream media saw it very differently. The Washington Post ran its story under the headline, “Do Cell Phones Cause Cancer? Don’t Believe the Hype.”

May 26, 2016

This evening, the National Toxicology Program (NTP) 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...

May 25, 2016

The cell phone cancer controversy will never be the same again.

The U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP) is expected to issue a public announcement that cell phone radiation presents a cancer risk for humans. The move comes soon after its recently completed study showed statistically significant increases in cancer among rats that had been exposed to GSM or CDMA signals for two-years.

Discussions are currently underway among federal agencies on how to inform the public about the new findings. NTP senior managers believe that these results should be released as soon as possible because just about everyone is exposed to wireless radiation all the time and therefore everyone is potentially at risk.

November 30, 2015

NIEHS really doesn’t want to talk about it. Ten years into a $25+ million project to assess the cancer risk of wireless radiation in laboratory animals, the staff at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences remains tight-lipped and refuses to release project documents.

NIEHS has many reasons for keeping a low profile. The RF project, the most expensive in National Toxicology Program history, is years late and two-to-three times over budget. A more immediate concern is that it could force the institute into a position it would desperately prefer to avoid: Being at the center of the ever-contentious controversy over cell phone radiation and cancer.

March 23, 2011

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has invited three industry operatives to sit in on its weeklong assessment of the cancer risks associated with exposure to wireless radiation and other sources of RF/microwave radiation. Representatives from CTIA, the Wireless Association, the Mobile Manufacturers Forum (MMF) and the GSM Association will all be allowed to attend the IARC review. The meeting will be held in Lyon, France, May 24-31.

February 16, 2010

The Washington Post's health section offers its take on the cell phone–tumor story today. In "Not Exactly a Ringing Endorsement," reporter John Donnelly presents a variety of opinions from DC area residents: "Everything is a risk. I'm a bodyguard. That's risky. You got to have a life. Cell phones don't scare me," said one. "It makes me nervous," said a pregnant 26-year-old, "I use the speakerphone as much as I can. I keep it away from my body. I try to use it very little."

January 18, 2010

Lorenzo Tomatis got it. But few others do. Among those who don't are the many managers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) who refuse to allow that the EMF–cancer playbook may be different from the one for chemicals. Even now, when there is ample evidence that power line EMFs can increase the risk of childhood leukemia and there is a growing suspicion that cell phone radiation is associated with three different types of tumors, NIEHS prefers to look the other way. The institute has long resisted endorsing precautionary policies for any kind of EMFs.

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