Mobile phones : small increase in cancer risk

Health 5 February, 2018


Published the 05.02.2018 at 0735 hrs


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For years the security of the intensive use of mobile phones is under debate, because these devices have become so important in our life, which some are concerned about the impact potential on health. If there is a risk even if minimal, could have consequences for millions of people.
Up to now, the epidemic is feared of cancers of the brain has not occurred, but it was necessary to have assessments which are encrypted. Beside the epidemiological surveillance of populations exposed to radiofrequency waves, toxicological studies animals are used to test the effect of overexposure to intense, beyond what man can suffer, and on the whole life of the animals.

Two studies and 25 million dollars

In this perspective, the u.s. government has put the package with in 2 studies with 25 million dollars on the effect of the waves of radio frequencies emitted by mobile phones. Conducted over 10 years and 3,000 animals, these 2 studies are considered by specialists as the most important to date.
They have tested on rats and of male and female mice, the effects of different types of waves (GSM and CDMA), different intensities, and short-term (0, 3, 6 and 9 W/kg, 5 to 7 days per week and 28 days) and long term (0, 1,5, 3 and 6 W/kg, 7 days per week over 2 years). The rodents were subjected to a daily exposure greater than 9 hours by sequences of 10 minutes on less than 18 hours, making this an exhibition more than intensive.
These 2 reports, presented at press conferences and made available on the internet, specify the results already published in 2016, which had proved a slight increase in tumors of the heart and brain in male rats, but not females. There seems to be an effect on the weight and survival of rat pups at higher intensities.

An exhibition of more than intensive

The rodents in the studies were exposed to the waves more than nine hours per day for two years, that is to say, a lot more than what people even support with the intensive use of a mobile phone, so the results should not be applied directly to humans.
In male rats, the studies show an increased frequency of a tumour is very rare in the heart (mpnst) in the course of this very high exposure to radio frequencies emitted by the phones. But this tumor is not found in female rats or in mice. There was also an increase in the frequency of cardiomyopathy in the 2 sexes, a degenerative impairment of the heart muscle.
After one of the experts of the press conference, Dr. Bucher, of the u.s. national program of toxicology, the fact that only male rats develop tumors cardiac may be related to chance or to the fact that, being bigger, they absorb more radiation.

An increase in the risk of tumors of the heart

The heart tumours observed in male rats are of the ” schwannoma malignant “, a tumor of the same origin as acoustic neuroma, a benign tumor of the nerve that connects the ear to the brain. It is this last tumor that some studies have linked to an over-use of the mobile phone.
During the press conference, the experts have added that a score of animal studies have been done on this subject, ” the great majority of whom, past and to come, are negative for cancer “.
Other brain cancers (glioma) and other organs (pituitary adenoma, pheochromocytoma, adenoma of the prostate, pancreas, etc.) were found slightly increased in the 2 studies in rats and mice, but this increase does not reach the threshold of significance, which defines statistically the reality of an effect or a consequence. These results are therefore ” ambiguous “, according to the experts of the press conference, and do not give the field to further research.

Prolongation of the survival

Unexpectedly, the 2 studies have also found small lesions of DNA in animals exposed to radiofrequency waves (seahorse). This was a surprise to scientists who thought until now that the radiofrequency waves, unlike ionizing radiation from X-rays, could not damage to DNA.
These results do not, however, because of the very reassuring for the 2 studies for experts as well as, at the same time, it appears that rats exposed to radiofrequency waves from mobile phone have been around longer (48 to 69% survival at 2 years) than controls (28% survival at 2 years).
According to Dr. Bucher, a possible explanation for this lengthening of the duration of life would be that the radio could combat the chronic inflammation at the origin of a disorder kidney common in rats as they age and that can kill them.

The reports released on Friday for public consultation are interim versions, and a detailed analysis by independent experts is planned for the end of march.