Cell phone and cordless phone use causes brain cancer: a new review

From Safer EMR
December 4, 2017

Increased Brain Tumor Risk from Wireless Phone Use:

2017 Supplement to the BioInitiative Report

Radio frequency radiation should be classified as “carcinogenic to humans” (Group 1).

In May, 2011, radio frequency radiation (RFR) was classified as a ”possible” human carcinogen (Group 2B) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization (WHO) based upon an increased risk for glioma and acoustic neuroma observed in human epidemiological studies.

Since then, RFR exposure has increased in most countries as few countries took any precautionary actions due to confusion sowed by the wireless industry. The emerging fifth generation of wireless technology, known as 5G, will further increase RFR exposure.

The RFR exposure limits adopted by most countries were established in 1998 by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). The limits were based on short-term thermal (heating) effects from RFR and ignored non-thermal biological effects.

Although the ICNIRP guidelines were updated in 2009, they still do not cover long-term health risks from non-thermal exposures. ICNIRP’s current RFR exposure limits are 2 to 10 W/m2 depending on frequency. ICNIRP has 14 members; many have ties to industries that want to maintain these permissive guidelines.

In contrast to ICNIRP, in 2007 27 RFR scientists reviewed the literature on non-thermal health effects and released the BioInitiative Report. In 2012 when the report was updated, the authors concluded that health risks can be observed with an RFR exposure of 30 to 60 μW/m2. Applying a safety factor of 10, they proposed a precautionary target level of 3–6 μW/m2which corresponds to three hundred thousand to three million times less exposure than the ICNIRP limits allow.

This supplement to the BioInitiative Report written by Lennart Hardell and Michael Carlberg examines the case-control research on brain tumor risk published since 2011 when IARC classified RFR as “possibly carcinogenic.”

The report finds consistent evidence of increased risk for glioma and acoustic neuroma associated with mobile phone and cordless phone use. These results are supported by results from animal studies showing genotoxic, co-carcinogenic, and tumor-promoting effects from RFR. Animal research finds evidence for an indirect mechanism for RFR-induced cancer, namely, oxidative stress on the cells leading to free radical production and DNA damage.

The supplement concludes that RFR should now be classified as “carcinogenic to humans” (Group 1) based on the IARC definition for this category:

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.”

Lennart Hardell, Michael Carlberg. Use of Wireless Phones and Evidence for Increased Risk of Brain Tumors: 2017 Supplement. BioInitiative Working Group, November, 2017.

The supplement to the BioInitiative Report is available at: http://bit.ly/bioinitbrain2017.

Bioinitiative Report: www.bioinitiative.org


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