NTP Study – First Impressions by Dariusz Leszczynski

From the blog  Between A rock and Hard Place  

NTP Study – my first impressions…

Today, the US NTP published results of its animal study examining effects of RF-EMF on mice and rats. Both reports are quite long to read and I had no time for detailed evaluation yet. However, in my opinion, the NTP study demonstrates that exposures to cell phone radiation cause biological and health effects in animals. This confirms that biological and health effects in humans are possible.

The most significant finding, in my opinion, is the development of gliomas in exposed animals. Increased risk for developing of the same tumor was shown in epidemiological studies. This is a very significant finding. NTP study dramatically strengthens the evidence obtained from epidemiological studies. Now, mechanism for the development of glioma should be determined. It needs to be determined whether RF radiation induces glioma by itself or whether RF radiation only assists in development of gliomas caused by other factor(s). The first option is more dangerous but less likely. Dangerous because many users could be in danger of developing glioma but less likely because RF has low energy. The second option is less dangerous and more likely. Less dangerous because RF would only assist in developing of the glioma caused by other factors. Glioma is a rare disease so, there would be not so many persons that would develop glioma with the help of RF exposure. This option is for me more likely because RF has been shown to activate various cellular signaling pathways able to assist in development of cancer. I explained this, to some degree, in my article in The Conversation UK.  Replication of the NTP study is needed with new settings to examine the origins of glioma.

The other issue is observation of a plethora of statistically significant and non-significant effects such as decline in body weight or benign tumors. While these effects are not immediately life threatening, occurrence of these effects clearly demonstrates that the normal metabolism of animals was altered by the RF exposures, leading to lesser weight and benign tumors. We do not know what mechanisms underlie these effects and we need urgent research to find out. Summa summarum, these non-lethal effects show destabilization of normal metabolism in exposed animals.

Finally, the important issue is observation of an increased levels of damaged DNA in some tissues and organs. Is RF responsible for the damage or is RF inhibiting DNA repair mechanisms? What happens with the damaged DNA – will it be repaired or will it persist in next cell generations? Is similar increase in damaged DNA happening in people exposed to cell phones? We need answers to these questions too.

Temperature of animals was in some exposure conditions increasing but no more than 1 deg. C. This is toxicology study and this is understandable side-effect of the over-exposure to RF.  This over-exposure-associated temperature increase might have impact on some of the observed biological effects but, at the same time, such small temperature increase is not known to cause glioma or other cancers.

About the author