Cell phones are currently used by 95% of American adults, according to a 2016 survey. While current scientific evidence has not conclusively linked cell phones with any health problems, NTP and other scientific organizations recognize that additional data are needed.
The nomination for NTP to study cell phone radiofrequency radiation (RFR) was made by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because of the following:
- Human exposure is widespread
- Current exposure guidelines are based largely on protection from acute injury from thermal effects
- Little is known about potential health effects of long-term exposure to cell phone radiofrequency radiation
- Currently available human studies have found limited evidence of an increased risk of cancer from cell phone use
Studies in Rats and Mice
NTP has conducted studies in rats and mice to help clarify any potential health hazards, including cancer risk, from exposure to cell phone radiofrequency radiation, and to better inform protection for public health.
The draft Technical Reports were reviewed by an external expert panel in March 2018, which recommended the following actions. NTP staff are currently reviewing the panel recommendations and finalizing conclusions. The final NTP Technical Reports are expected in fall 2018.
Partial Findings Report
On May 27, 2016, NTP released partial findings in a report titled "Report of Partial Findings from the National Toxicology Program Carcinogenesis Studies of Cell Phone Radiofrequency Radiation in Hsd: Sprague Dawley SD Rats (Whole Body Exposure)".
The partial findings in the May 2016 report were peer reviewed by experts selected by NTP and the National Institutes of Health. These reviews and responses to comments are included as appendices to the partial findings report, and have been incorporated into the final report from the rat studies.
- NTP reported low incidences of tumors in the brains and hearts of male rats, but not in female rats, in these partial findings.
- For the studies, rats were exposed to 2G and 3G frequencies and modulations still used in voice calls and texting in the United States. Specifically, the rats were exposed for 10-minute on, 10-minute off increments, totaling just over 9 hours a day from before birth through 2 years of age.
- These are the largest, most complex studies ever conducted by NTP.
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration nominated cell phone radiofrequency radiation for NTP study.
- NTP has shared these findings with its federal regulatory partners so they have the latest information.
Partial Study Findings Report
- Cell Phone Radiofrequency Radiation Studies
Updated November 2017
Media Briefing and Interviews
- News Release: NTP Draft Conclusions for Radiofrequency Radiation Studies in Rats and Mice
February 2, 2018
- NTP Speaks about Cell Phone Radiofrequency Radiation
June 11, 2016 – People's Pharmacy public radio show
- Media Telebriefing: NTP Cell Phone Radiofrequency Radiation Study: Partial Release of Findings
May 27, 2016
- 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
- BioEM2016 Meeting, Ghent, Belgium, June 8, 2016
Photos of the Radiofrequency Radiation Research Facility
Click on the thumbnail to see a larger version of the photo.
Stay Informed & Contact Us
Subscribe to receive email to stay informed about this area of research and other NTP information.
- On This Page
- Technical Reports Peer Review (March 26-28, 2018)
- News Release: High Exposure to Radiofrequency Radiation Linked to Tumor Activity in Male Rats (Feb. 2, 2018)
- NTP Cell Phone Studies - Experts Recommend Elevated Conclusions, Environmental Factor, April 2018
- Tips for Reducing Exposure to Cell Phone RFR
- Nomination Summary for Wireless Communication Devices (N99019)