Ask Dr. Nandi: Cell phone radiation causes tumors in rats

(WXYZ) - A red-hot debate has been raging for years as to whether or not cell phone radiation causes cancer.

Regulators say we probably have nothing to worry about because cell phones only emit small amounts of radio frequency radiation, or RFR’s. But others aren’t so sure.

Now, a new study on animals shows that there could be cause for concern. Researchers have found that exposing male rats to high amounts of RFR’s resulted in tumors around their heart tissue.

They were exposed to very high amounts of radiation — up to four times more than people get from using cell phones. And they were exposed for years, not minutes.

After the equivalent of 70 human years of exposure, some of the male rats had unusual tumors. Interestingly, the female rats didn’t show any tumors at all. More research is needed to understand why.

The American Cancer Society notes that while the study might create public concern, the evidence for an association between cell phones and cancer is still weak.

When someone asked the author of the study about cancer at a recent press conference, he said that he and his family have not altered the way they use cell phones. So I don’t think we’re at a point where we should panic. 

Here are my prescriptions:

  1. Keep the antenna away from your head when talking on your cell phone. Use a hands-free device or speakerphone mode instead. 
  2. Don’t walk around with your phone in your pocket all day. Keep it on your person only when you need it. 
  3. If possible, text instead of talking on your phone because RFR’s are much lower.
  4. Always keep your phone at least 2 to 3 feet away while sleeping. Never keep it in your bed.  
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