While mobile phones make communication easier and more convenient, the radiation of the devices can be dangerous, according to a new report.
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Researchers at the National Toxicology Program recently conducted a study that began under the Clinton administration to investigate the link between mobile phones and brain cancer.
They studied 30,000 rats and mice that were irradiated for nine hours daily for two years. The exposures started before birth and lasted until they were about 2 years old.
After analyzing the results, they found that 2 to 3 percent of male rats exposed to radiation developed malignant glioma, a deadly brain tumor. They also found that 5 to 7 percent of male rats exposed to the highest levels of radiation developed heart tumors. There was no apparent association between radiation and tumors in the female rats.
"We believe that the relationship between radiofrequency radiation and tumors is real in male rats, and the external experts agreed," co-author John Bucher said in a statement.
The scientists said, however, that the exposure to radiation and the duration of exposure to the animals were far greater than what people normally experience. For their study, they evaluated the radio frequency radiation used in 2G and 3G devices in the 1990s. Current mobile phones use 4G technology, which does not penetrate the body so much.
"The exposures used in the studies can not be compared directly with the exposure that people experience using a cell phone," Bucher said. "In our studies, rats and mice received radio frequency radiation throughout the body. In contrast, people are mostly exposed in certain local tissues near their telephone line. In addition, exposure levels and durations in our studies were greater than what people experience. "
Researchers now hope to continue their research by using newer technologies that facilitate the analysis of data in weeks or months as opposed to years.
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