Comments by Hardell and Carlberg to the National Toxicology Program Cell Phone Study Draft Reports.

National Toxicology Program March 12, 2018
National Institutes of Health
Public Health Service
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
Comments on:
NTP TECHNICAL REPORT ON THE TOXICOLOGY AND CARCINOGENESIS STUDIES IN Hsd: SPRAGUE DAWLEY SD RATS
EXPOSED TO WHOLE-BODY RADIO FREQUENCY RADIATION
AT A FREQUENCY (900 MHz) AND MODULATIONS (GSM AND CDMA) USED BY CELL PHONES
NTP TECHNICAL REPORT ON THE TOXICOLOGY AND CARCINOGENESIS STUDIES IN B6C3F1/N MICE EXPOSED
TO WHOLE-BODY RADIO FREQUENCY RADIATION AT A FREQUENCY (1,900 MHz) AND MODULATIONS (GSM AND CDMA) USED BY CELL PHONES

We have read these two reports with interest. They show increased incidence of malignant schwannoma in the heart and brain glioma in male rats exposed either to GSM-modulated or CDMA modulated cell phone radiofrequency (RF) radiation for two years. There are also increased incidences of some other tumor types and diseases. We discuss in the following some of the major findings.

The reports the results on schwannoma and glioma are of special concern since they corroborate human epidemiology findings. Thus, it is noteworthy that similar tumors were found in the NTP study as in epidemiological studies on human use of wireless phones; mobile phones or cordless phones (DECT). Malignant schwannoma in the heart is a similar type of tumor as vestibular schwannoma in humans, also called acoustic neuroma, although acoustic neuroma is usually benign and may rarely undergo malignant transformation.

In the following we give an updated evaluation on the scientific evidence for increased risk for glioma and vestibular schwannoma (acoustic neuroma) associated with use of wireless phones. In our opinion also certain aspects on human epidemiology on this issue need to be further clarified and elaborated in the NTP report.

Our study group has since the end of the 1990’s published results from case- control studies on use of wireless phones and brain tumor risk (Hardell et al 1999). An increased risk for brain tumors was found for ipsilateral use of mobile phones, the same side of the brain as the phone was used. A statistically significant increased risk was published for malignant brain tumors (Hardell et al 2002) and vestibular schwannoma (Hardell et al 2003). Further scientific evidence on the association has more recently been discussed by Carlberg and Hardell (2017).

Link to the pdf for the full comment  Comment on NTP study

By now carcinogenicity has been shown in human epidemiological studies replicated in animal studies. Laboratory studies on RF radiation have shown increased ROS production that can cause DNA strand brakes. We published in 2013 the conclusion that RF radiation should be regarded as a human carcinogen Group 1 according to IARC definition, based on scientific evidence (Hardell, Carlberg 2013b) further supported in our up-dated article (Carlberg, Hardell 2017). That conclusion is reinforced by the current evaluation.

Overall evaluation of levels of evidence of carcinogenic activity
Glioma: Clear evidence
Meningioma: Equivocal evidence
Vestibular schwannoma (acoustic neuroma): Clear evidence
Pituitary tumor (adenoma): Equivocal evidence
Thyroid cancer: Some evidence
Malignant lymphoma: Equivocal evidence
Skin (cutaneous tissue): Equivocal evidence
Multi-site carcinogen: Some evidence

Based on the IARC preamble to the monographs, RF radiation should be classified as Group 1: The agent is carcinogenic to humans.

’This category is used when there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in humans. Exceptionally, an agent may be placed in this category when evidence of carcinogenicity in humans is less than sufficient but there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals and strong evidence in exposed humans that the agent acts through a relevant mechanism of carcinogenicity.’ (http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Preamble/currentb6evalrationale0706.php)

Respectfully submitted
Pro Bono Publico
Lennart Hardell, MD, PhD
Department of Oncology, University Hospital
SE-701 85 Örebro, Sweden
Present address:
The Environment and Cancer Research Foundation
Studievägen 35
SE 702 17 Örebro, Sweden
www.environmentandcancer.com

Michael Carlberg,MSc
Department of Oncology, University Hospital
SE-701 85 Örebro, Sweden

Lena Hedendahl, MD
Independent Environment and Health Research Luleå
Östra Skolgatan 12, 972 53 Luleå, Sweden

Draft Reports, Public Comments, and Related Information: TR Peer Review Panel  https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/about/org/sep/trpanel/meetings/docs/2018/march/index.html
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