Cell Phone Radio Frequency Radiation
Cell phones are currently used by 95% of American adults. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) nominated radio frequency radiation (RFR) used by cell phones for an NTP study because of widespread public use of cell phones and limited knowledge about potential health effects from long-term exposure.
NTP Studies & Findings
What did the studies find?
The NTP studies found that high exposure to RFR used by cell phones was associated with:
- Clear evidence of tumors in the hearts of male rats. The tumors were malignant schwannomas.
- Some evidence of tumors in the brains of male rats. The tumors were malignant gliomas.
- Some evidence of tumors in the adrenal glands of male rats. The tumors were benign, malignant, or complex combined pheochromocytoma.
For female rats, and male and female mice, it was unclear if tumors observed in the studies were associated with RFR used by cell phones. This is also known as equivocal evidence.
The final conclusions represent the consensus between NTP and a panel of external scientific experts who thoroughly reviewed the draft NTP technical reports at a public meeting in March 2018.
The results are based on NTP’s four categories of evidence that a substance may cause cancer: clear evidence (highest), some evidence, equivocal evidence, no evidence (lowest).
Fact Sheet and FAQ
Media Briefing and Interviews
- News Release: High Exposure to Radio Frequency Radiation Associated with Cancer in Male Rats
November 1, 2018
- News Release: NTP Draft Conclusions for Radiofrequency Radiation Studies in Rats and Mice
February 2, 2018
- Media Telebriefing: NTP Cell Phone Radiofrequency Radiation Study: Partial Release of Findings
May 27, 2016
- High Exposure to Radio Frequency Radiation Associated with Cancer in Male Rats
Environmental Factor, November 2018
- NTP Cell Phone Studies — Experts Recommend Elevated Conclusions
Environmental Factor, April 2018
- NTP Releases Rodent Studies on Cell Phone Radiofrequency Radiation
Environmental Factor, June 2016
- NTP Board of Scientific Counselors Meeting, Research Triangle Park, NC, June 2018
- BioEM2016 Meeting, Ghent, Belgium, June 8, 2016
- Wyde ME, Horn TL, Capstick MH, Ladbury JM, Koepke G, Wilson PF, Kissling GE, Stout MD, Kuster N, Melnick RL, Gauger J, Bucher JR, McCormick DL. Effect of cell phone radiofrequency radiation on body temperature in rodents: Pilot studies of the National Toxicology Program's reverberation chamber exposure system. Bioelectromagnetics. 2018. https://doi.org/10.1002/bem.22116
- Capstick MH, Kuehn S, Berdinas-Torres V, Gong Y, Wilson PF, Ladbury JM, Koepke G, McCormick DL, Gauger J, Melnick RL, Kuster N. A radio frequency radiation exposure system for rodents based on reverberation chambers. IEEE Trans Electromagn Compat. 2017; 59(4):1041-1052 https://doi.org/10.1109/TEMC.2017.2649885
- Gong Y, Capstick MH, Kuehn S, Wilson PF, Ladbury JM, Koepke G, McCormick DL, Melnick R, Kuster N. Life-time dosimetric assessment for mice and rats exposed in reverberation chambers for the two-year NTP cancer bioassay study on cell phone radiation. IEEE Trans Electromagn Compat. 2017; 59(6):1798-1808 https://doi.org/10.1109/TEMC.2017.2665039
- Wyde M, Cesta M, Blystone C, Elmore S, Foster P, Hooth M, Kissling G, Malarkey D, Sills R, Stout M, Walker N, Witt K, Wolfe M, Bucher J. Report of partial findings from the National Toxicology Program carcinogenesis studies of cell phone radiofrequency radiation in Hsd: Sprage Dawley SD rats (whole body exposure). BioRxiv 055699 [Preprint] May 26, 2016 (modified Feb 01, 2018). https://doi.org/10.1101/055699
Photos of the Radiofrequency Radiation Research Facility
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