The Significance of Primary Tumors in the NTP Study of Chronic Rat Exposure to Cell Phone Radiation

Publisher: IEEE

Author James C. Lin

Abstract

Most media accounts of the U.S. National Toxicology Program’s (NTP’s) final report have understandably focused on the statistically significant finding of “clear evidence” that both GSM and code-division multiple access (CDMA)-modulated 900-MHz wireless RF radiation led to the development of malignant schwannoma, a rare form of tumor, in the hearts of male rats. In addition to this, unusual patterns of cardiomyopathy, i.e., damage to heart tissue, were observed in both RF-exposed male and female Sprague-Dawley rats compared with concurrent control animals, although the findings for female rats were deemed as providing only uncertain or “equivocal” evidence for schwannomas and malignant gliomas, compared to concurrent controls.

https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/8866792

Excerpts

“A Closer Look at the NTP Findings

“In all fairness, the primary cancer or overall cancer rates detected in any organ or tissue inside the animal body do not appear to have been purposefully overlooked or unnoticed. Indeed, the results for total primary cancer or tumor occurrences in NTP animal studies can be found in the appendices of its final reports [1]. However, although the data may not have been purposefully disregarded or ignored, the NTP excluded them from its publicized report summaries. An independent analysis of the data showed that rats exposed to GSM and CDMA RF radiation had significantly higher overall or total primary tumor rates than did the concurrent control rats [4].

In particular, the highest overall cancer (or malignant tumors) rates were found in male rats exposed to whole-body SARs of 3 W/kg from 900-MHz cell phone RF radiation (42 and 46% for GSM and CDMA, respectively), and the lowest rate was found in the concurrent control group (27%). Thus, the RF-exposed groups had significantly higher overall or total primary cancer rates than did the concurrent control rats. Moreover, the highest overall tumor rates (either a benign or malignant tumor in any organ or tissue) were observed in male rats exposed to SARs of 3-W/kg (87 and 84% for GSM and CDMA, respectively) cell phone RF radiation. As stated previously, the lowest rate was seen in the concurrent control group (63%). The RF-exposed groups had significantly higher overall tumor rates than did the concurrent control rats. Male rats in the lowest RF-exposed groups (whole-body SARs of 1.5 W/kg) had significantly higher rates of benign primary tumors (76 and 73% for GSM and CDMA, respectively) than did concurrent or sham control groups (54%).”

[4] J. Moskowitz, “National toxicology program publishes final cell phone radiation study reports,” Electromagn. Radiation Safety, Nov. 2018. [Online]. Available: https://www.saferemr.com/2018/11/NTP-final-reports31.html

“IARC Assessment

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) assessed the then available scientific literature and concluded that the epidemiological studies on humans that had reported increased risks for malignant gliomas and acoustic neuromas among heavy or long-term users of cell phones were sufficiently strong to support a classification of 2B, i.e., possibly carcinogenic to humans [9]. With its classification of RF radiation as a 2B carcinogen, the IARC suggested that it also believed the available scientific evidence was incomplete and limited, especially with regard to results from animal experiments.

“The time is right for the IARC to upgrade its previous epidemiology-based classification of RF exposure to higher levels in terms of the carcinogenicity of RF radiation for humans. Recently, two relatively well-conducted RF and microwave exposure studies employing the Sprague–Dawley strain of rats—without, however, using any cancer-promoting agents (or cocarcinogens)—showed consistent results in significantly increased total primary cancer or overall tumor rates in animals exposed to RF radiation.”

It is important to note that the recent NTP and Ramazzini animal RF exposure studies presented similar findings in heart schwannomas and brain gliomas. The increased schwannomas and abnormal heart tissue development/damage to heart tissue are significant findings in RF-exposed animal research studies. In addition to this, the incidence of benign pheochromocytomas of the adrenal medulla was found to be higher in the exposed group than in the sham controls for the 2,450-MHz circular waveguide experiment [6]. Interestingly, in the recent NTP study, there was “some evidence” of carcinogenicity in the adrenal gland. The number of pheochromocytomas was significantly higher (p <0.05) in male rats at 1.5 and 3 W/kg, compared with the concurrent controls. Moreover, the increase in malignant tumor-like hyperplasia in the adrenal gland of female rats was significantly higher at 6 W/kg, relative to the concurrent controls (p <0.05).”

“Postscripts

… It is important to note that the recent NTP and Ramazzini animal RF exposure studies presented similar findings in heart schwannomas and brain gliomas. The increased schwannomas and abnormal heart tissue development/damage to heart tissue are significant findings in RF-exposed animal research studies….

A particular perspective to keep in mind is that, with the induction of cancer by a carcinogen, an agent is typically considered carcinogenic if it induces a significant response in a specific tissue.”

Note by EMFSA:

This publication was peer reviewed.