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Deconstructing a “New York Times” Headline

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

How does a New York Times reporter justify a grossly misleading headline on a story of major importance?

Usually we could only speculate, but in one recent case, thanks to a health advocate’s persistence, we have a peek at the rationalizations and distortions in play.

The headline sits at the top of a story by William Broad, a staff writer, reporting the release of the National Toxicology Program’s (NTP) final report on its $30 million, ten-year animal study of the cancer risks associated with cell phone radiation.

Did New York Times Have an Inside Track?  

Friday, November 9, 2018

Much of the press coverage of the final NTP cell phone/cancer report was lousy. This time, the NTP seems to have wanted it that way.

Reporters were given very little notice to join the NTP teleconference on the release of the report. Nor was there much time to prepare a story for publication.

I received an email at 10:45 am on October 31 for a teleconference at 2 pm that same day. Many reporters missed the advisory and the call. Editors had little time to assign the story.

Attendance on the teleconference was spotty.

Rats Developed Rare Heart Tumor
Cancer Link Was Once Thought Impossible

Thursday, November 1, 2018

“We believe that the link between radiofrequency (RF) radiation and tumors in male rats is real,” says John Bucher, the former associate director of the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP).

The announcement accompanies this morning’s release of the NTP final reports of studies on cancer in rats and mice exposed to cell phone radiation. Bucher’s project, the largest in NTP history, cost $30 million and took more than ten years to complete.

The NTP found what it calls “clear evidence” that two different types of cell phone signals, GSM and CDMA, increased the incidence of malignant tumors in the hearts of male rats over the course of the two-year study.

GBM Rise Only in Frontal and Temporal Lobes

Friday, October 26, 2018
Last updated October 29, 2018

A U.K. epidemiologist has confirmed that glioblastoma (GBM), the most aggressive type of brain tumor, is on the rise in England. In a new paper, Frank de Vocht of the University of Bristol reports that he sees a significant and consistent increase in GBM in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain over the last 20-30 years.

Alasdair Philips, an independent researcher based in Scotland, and three colleagues first documented the increase last March. It was not due to improved diagnosis, they said, but they could not pinpoint which “environmental or lifestyle factor” was responsible. There was one obvious possibility: cell phones.

Verifying NTP Cancer Findings

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Japanese and Korean officials are working on a partial replication of the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP) animal study on cancer risks from cell phone radiation. The project is expected to be approved and get underway late next year.

Though collaborating on a common experimental design, each country will carry out its own exposures with animals from the same breeder. If the designs are similar enough, the two sets of data will be combined in a joint analysis.

“We have been discussing this issue in Japan,” said Masao Taki of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Tokyo Metropolitan University, who was a member of ICNIRP from 1996 to 2008.

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Short Takes

September 4, 2018

The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) has determined that the two recent animal studies pointing to a cancer risk from cell phone radiation are not convincing and should not be used to revise current exposure standards. 

In a “note” published today, the 12-member group states that the studies by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) and the...

June 15, 2018

Martin Blank died on June 13 at the age of 85.

A retired professor at Columbia University, Blank was a long-time EMF researcher, best known for his collaboration with Columbia’s Reba Goodman.

Writing in his 2014 book, Overpowered, Blank called himself an “unlikely activist” and urged people to practice precaution.

His...

February 2, 2018
Last updated February 10, 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
Last updated February 2, 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...

September 22, 2017

Apple has released the RF exposure numbers —SARs, or specific absorption rates— for its new Series 3 Watches. These are the first wristwatches that can connect to cellular networks without being tethered to an iPhone.

The highest exposures, according to Apple, occur when the new watches are placed next to the head. The SAR measurements are based on a 10mm separation distance. The Model A1860 entails the highest exposure: 0.53 W/Kg averaged over 1g of tissue (0.52 W/Kg for the A1861).

The...

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...

 


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