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Research conducted by the National Institutes of Health found a connection between radiation produced by cell phones and cancer. The study was made on rats and is one of the most expensive programs of the Institute, with over $25 million spent so far.
The study went on for almost ten years.
More than 2,500 lab mice were exposed to radiations for nine hours per day, during two years. After the two years, it seems that the male rodents were predisposed to be affected by two types of cancers. The two categories of tumors were brain tumors (gliomas) and heart tumors (schwannomas).
The result is similar to data collected from other epidemiological studies which showed the same two types of tumors in humans. In 2010, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified radiation as a possible human carcinogen.
This new study may raise again the question of the impact of cell phones use on health. Industry leaders declare that cell phones do not add any risk to health; while scientists have long sustained that more research should be conducted in order to clear the matter.
Up until now, the general advice was to take precautions when using phones.
NIH representatives say that earlier observational studies performed on large populations of humans did not find enough evidence that cell phones could provoke cancer. The present study will be reviewed by other scientists to make sure that the extrapolation is correct.
In May 2015, a group of scientists from 39 countries brought to the attention of international organizations such as the United Nations and World Health Organization that stricter control is needed on radiations emitted by cell phones.
On the other hand, other groups have lobbied health institutions to remove the cautionary advice against cell phones and publicly to deny any scientifically proven connection between radiation and cancer.
The present study is backed up by three other studies published in 2015, two from Sweden and France and one that researched populations from 13 countries. All three studies show a connection between gliomas and radiation.
Cell phone companies criticized the studies because of the self-reporting manner on which they collected data from participants. The devices were varying in ages. And the span was considered to be only from 5 to 10 years long while cancer in humans can develop in a much longer time.
The advantage of the new research is that all conditions were perfectly controlled. Rats were subjected to the same type of radiation like the one used in cell phones, and the exposure started in utero and continued during the whole life duration of the rat (which is of approximately two years).
The publication of the study may restart the international debate concerning the effects of cell phone radiations. Moreover, the findings can be used by national agencies to help protect customers from potential risks.
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