Cell phones are currently used by 95% of American adults, according to a 2016 Survey. NIEHS and other scientific organizations are actively studying the potential health effects of radiofrequency radiation used in cellular communications.
What is NIEHS Doing?
The National Toxicology Program (NTP), headquartered at NIEHS, has conducted studies in rats and mice to help clarify potential cancer hazards from exposure to cell phone radiofrequency radiation. The studies are applicable to the frequencies and modulations used in the United States telecommunications system.
The draft Technical Reports for rats and mice were reviewed by an external expert panel in March 2018. NTP staff are currently reviewing the panel recommendations and finalizing conclusions. The final NTP Technical Reports are expected in fall 2018.
This follows NTP’s release of partial findings in May 2016 via the "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)". NTP reported low incidences of tumors in the brains and hearts of male rats, but not in female rats, in these partial findings.
Stories from the Environmental Factor (NIEHS Newsletter)
- NTP Cell Phone Studies — Experts Recommend Elevated Conclusions (April 2018)
- NTP Releases Rodent Studies on Cell Phone Radiofrequency Radiation (June 2016)
Printable Fact Sheets
- Consumer Update on Cell Phones - U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- Fact Sheet on Mobile Phones - World Health Organization (WHO)
- IARC Classifies Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields as Possibly Carcinogenic to Humans - The WHO/International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B), based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer, associated with wireless phone use.
- National Toxicology Program: Cell Phones
- News Release: High Exposure to Radiofrequency Radiation Linked to Tumor Activity in Male Rats (February 2018)
- Cell Phones and Cancer Risk Fact Sheet - National Cancer Institute (NCI)
- Tips for reducing exposure to radiofrequency radiation
Related Health Topics
- Michael Wyde, Mark Cesta, Chad Blystone, Susan Elmore, Paul Foster, Michelle Hooth, Grace Kissling, David Malarkey, Robert Sills, Matthew Stout, Nigel Walker, Kristine Witt, Mary Wolfe, John Bucher. 2016. 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) bioRxiv 055699. [Abstract] [doi:10.1101/055699] [PDF]