Researchers from Public Health England conclude that present evidence does not indicate substantially increased cancer risks from radio signals.
The lack of a plausible mechanism and the absence of a clear hypothesis means that multiple-frequency animal studies are “considered unfeasible at this time, and…not recommended as a high priority.”
Researchers from Public Health England conclude that present evidence does not indicate substantially increased cancer risks from radio signals. The lack of a plausible mechanism and the absence of a clear hypothesis means that multiple-frequency animal studies are “considered unfeasible at this time, and…not recommended as a high priority.”
The paper (opens in a new window) starts by noting that concerns about cell phone technology in the early 2000’s lead to research programs in many countries. The “…results of all these studies have not identified any public health risks with any degree of certainty.”
The paper summarizes data on typical public exposures, from both sources near to and far from the body, epidemiological and animal studies and identify future research needs. Their summary for epidemiology is that:
“Overall, the evidence from epidemiology studies does not suggest that exposure to RF fields associated with mobile phone use is a significant health risk for most people. However, the possibility that increased risks may exist in the small number of very high users cannot be excluded with certainty, although these increased risks may be related to previous technology that tended to expose the tissues of the head and neck to more intense fields.”
They note the NTP study (our post 4 December 2017 (opens in a new window)) and say the available results are “far from conclusive.” They summarize that “the available evidence from animal studies does not suggest long-term, low-level exposure to either a single or two RF fields can have a significant influence on carcinogenesis.”
A crucial difference between epidemiology and laboratory studies is that:
“most people are exposed to a complex mixture of frequencies and signals at varying intensities (i.e., not just the RF signals from a mobile phone but also additional RF, and lower frequency fields), whereas the majority of animal studies have been performed using a single frequency, and often a signal from a second (or more recently, a third) generation mobile phone.”
This difference could be used to claim a need for additional research on multiple frequency exposures but they argue that “such a programme of work is considered unfeasible at this time, and is not recommended as a high priority” due to lack of evidence for “substantial increased risks”, the lack of a “plausible interaction mechanism” and the “absence of a clear hypothesis to guide the choice of the particular frequencies to be investigated”.
“Overall, based on this analysis, the likelihood that exposure to multiple, low-level RF exposures would have unexpected consequences and significantly increased the risk of any type of cancer is considered to be low, but the possibility cannot be completely excluded. Nevertheless, it would be prudent to initiate such studies with animals only once an interaction mechanism had been better identified, and at least some of the more pertinent exposure parameters were known.”
Note: The article is part of a special collection on the Effects of Combined EMF Exposures and Co-Exposures (opens in a new window).
Are Exposures to Multiple Frequencies the Key to Future Radiofrequency Research? (opens in a new window) Sienkiewicz et al., Frontiers in Public Health. 5: 328. 8 December 2017.